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1. GreEn White - October 28, 2011

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
RESEARCH TOPIC: THE EFFECT OF USING TECHNOLOGY TOOLS IN ENGLISH VOCABULARY ACQUISITION.
A focus of using clips (video) to teach English vocabulary to Chinese adult learners.

1. Title (Research area)
The effect of using technology tools in English vocabulary acquisition. A focus of using clips (video) to teach English vocabulary to Chinese adult learners.

2. Introduction

English has long been the world’s communication language. English also is listed as one of the core subjects in primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Malaysia. Vocabulary acquisition is the crucial element to learn English as a second language, because it is the fundamental prerequisite to the four skills of a language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed Wilkins (1972, p.111).

Second language learners think that memorising English vocabulary is difficult. Second language learners typically have significant difficulty remembering large vocabularies Oxford (1990). Forgetting is another problem for Chinese adult learners to learn English, because most of them usually just use English words and sentences during class time, about two to three hours per day. English teachers have facing problems to choose the effective way to teach English vocabulary to adult learners. In tertiary level education, teaching vocabulary has been ‘forgotten’ as teachers think adult learners can elicit the vocabulary used during classes by themselves.

In this globalization era, everything is expected to be modernized and high technology. As in current teaching and learning environment, people (parents, education institution, government and even students) are demanding for using and application of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) tools in teaching and learning environment. Among the key players in integration of ICT tools in current teaching and learning environment, teachers play an important role and they are expected to equip themselves with this capability of using and applying all ICT tools in teaching and learning environment.
Therefore, this research attempts to investigate the effect of using technology tools as to teach English vocabulary to adult learners.

3. Statement of Problem
A few researchers stated that the main obstacle in English learning is facing entirely new words in an English text (Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Mezynski, 1983; Qian, 2002) and limited vocabulary often leads to misunderstanding or poor comprehension of English texts (Lin, 2002; Segler, Pain, & Sorace, 2002). Teaching vocabulary to adult learners has been ‘forgotten’ as seem no appropriate techniques applied in classroom. Normally, teacher will just elicit the vocabulary directly from students. Moreover, teacher stressed on the students to learn the vocabulary in every unit or module, and then check their memory performance by letting them answer the particular questions prepared.

Apart of teachers ‘ job requirements, they are expected to prepare the students for more challenging world ahead. As technology continues to impact current teaching learning environment, expectations on teachers to use and apply ICT tools in the classroom are demanding. Teachers are highly expected to exploit technological tools, leading teachers to experience the pressures of having tune themselves with pedagogy and technology in seamless way. (Pelgrum, 2001).

In this era of globalization, teaching learning environment can be made more interactive and effective with the help of the ICT tools at our finger tips. In concurrent with fully equipped of technology equipments/facilities in most of higher educational institution, supposed there will be no problems with teachers using and applying ICT tools in teaching learning environment.

4. Research Questions.
This research attempts to answer the following research questions;

4.1 How to teach English vocabulary
effectively to adult learners?
4.2 What students’ feedbacks toward
using technology tools in English
vocabularyacquisition?

5. Definition of key concepts.

5.1 ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

The study of the technology used to handle information and aid communication. ICT encompasses areas such as telephony, broadcast media and all types of audio and video processing and transmission.

5.2 Technology
The branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

5.3 Song
A short metrical composition intended or adapted for singing, especially one in rhymed stanzas.

5.4 Video
the elements of television, as in a program or script, pertaining to the transmission or reception of the image.

6. Literature Review

Technology supported learning has a long history. From the early sixties on, new technological developments have inspired and supported new innovative learning arrangements. From computer-assisted learning, to Intelligent Tutoring Systems, to open learning environments, technological advances have been used to reduce classroom constraints during learning and to adapt learning materials to the level of knowledge of individual students.

It is estimated that the average high school senior knows around 40,000 words (Herman and Nagy, 1987). To have a rudimentary grasp of a language at the conversational level, a vocabulary of around 5000 words is necessary (Pimsleur, 1980). Surprisingly, little attention is paid to the problem of vocabulary acquisition in the second language classroom. Many curricula leave the problem to the student as homework, and little instruction is given regarding effective acquisition techniques. Teachers are often hesitant to waste valuable class time directly teaching individual words when the impact of such teachings seems negligible relative to the sheer number of words a student needs to know (Anderson and Nagy, 1992).
Therefore, teachers still applying vocabulary learning through word lists or flash cards, citing the lack of linguistic context provided by such techniques (Oxford and Crookall, 1990). Still, the efficiency of such methods with respect to retention is hard to deny (Nation, 2001). It is certainly possible to learn thousands of words by explicit memorisation; however, this might be a discouraging prospect for students who find these methods tedious (Krashen, 2004). Hence, teachers should consider applying more innovative and technology tools as students are demanding for it.
Acquiring new words through reading is complicated with languages such as Chinese that have ideographic scripts, because learning to read can take years. Implicit vocabulary acquisition through conversation is fraught with a different set of problems.As one well-respected Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theorist notes, beginners are often quite hesitant to expose their inexperience to a native speaker (Krashen,1982). Even in the absence of timidity, for many in the United States, opportunities to practice speaking a second language outside of the classroom are rare. Therefore, this research is planning to elicit students English vocabulary by filling the a set of question prepared.

7. Research methodology.

7.1 Research Hypothesis
Video clips can improve students learning performance mainly in English vocabulary acquisition.

7.2 Design
One random Foundation class will be selected. Average number of students in the class is 45-60. Teacher will conducted experimental to this particular class under two control condition. Condition A is one topic from the Foundation syllabus will be selected and teacher will present the topic choosen normally (by using powerpoint slides) as the ordinary way teacher used during lecture classes. Condition B is, on the same topic teacher chose in Condition A, now teacher will use a video that related to the topic then present it to the student. At the end of the lesson, teacher will spare about 30-45 minutes to test on students’ language performance mainly on vocabulary acquisition. In the test, students should give 30 new words that they have learned about the topic present by teacher.

7.3 Participants
Foundation students with range of age 18-19 years old, intermediate level. One class is consist of about 45-60 students. All students will be given the same test mainly on vocabulary that they learnt from the topic discussed. 30 samples from the total tests will be taken randomly to analyse the result.

7.4 Instrument
One set of quizzes prepared mainly on testing students performance on English vocabulary that they can recall from the lesson. The reason why this instrument was preferred because the result and easily be observe and measure by analyzing students’ answers based on the question given.

7.5 Procedure
One set of test/quiz will be prepared before the class begin. The test mainly on vocabulary acquisition regards on the lesson learnt. Teacher will distribute the question set after the two conditions of classes conducted. Only one class will be selected in this study because the concerned of their proficiency level.

2. Nabila Anwar - October 28, 2011

Nabila Bt Noor Anwar
PGP 110026

The Effectiveness of Using Audio Visual Approach in Vocabulary Acquisition in an ESL classroom.

Introduction
Theoretically motivated, empirical research into task-based language learning has been prompted by proposals for task-based language teaching. And in this new era the use of audio visual material had become a demand in an ESL classroom. Vocabulary has been an important issue in ESL. Many teachers and researchers of ESL had come up with many different approaches to suit the needs of the learners. One of the methods that were frequently used in the ESL class of teaching vocabulary were the use of audio visual materials to suit the needs of the learners as more learners acquire vocabulary better through visual learning. Therefore this research is done to find the effectiveness of applying the visual learning styles in L2 acquisition in an ESL classroom.

Purpose of Study and Research Questions

The purpose of this study is to find the effectiveness of using audio visual approach on vocabulary acquisition of 60 primary school students in Gombak. There have been many questions regarding this issue.
1) Whether audio visual approach effective in enhancing learners L2 vocabulary acquisition in an ESL classroom.

2)Another question that rose from everyone’s mind is whether visual approaches are only beneficial to learners who comprise the visual learning styles and intelligences only.

The Objective of this study is to examine whether audio visual method can improve the students vocabulary acquisition. Another Objective that can be derived from this study is to determine whether audio visual methods provides fun as well as educational meanings in acquiring vocabulary in an ESL classroom.

The hypothesis that can be made from this research is visual approach can really help learners to acquire L2 vocabulary. Another hypothesis that can be made is that learners will learn to acquire vocabulary of L2 better if they are motivated to learn without focusing or restricted to any rules or forms of L2 learning.

The limitations of this study is that this study only focus on 2 groups of standard 5 students from the same class in SK Taman Selasih with the same level of intelligence. Future research can expand this research on foreign students in an ESL class as well as carrying this research with a larger target group such as taking it on the tertiary level students with different level of intelligences.

Literature Review
In recent years, language researchers and practitioners’ have shifted their focus from developing individual linguistic skills to the use of language to achieve the learners’ objective. This new era of focus known as communicative competence leads language teachers to seek task oriented activities that will engage their students in creative language use.

Arslanyilmaz and Pedersen (2010) concluded that learners produce better language after observing subtitles videos. This had proven that visual learning helps to enhance learners’ vocabulary as they will learn better in relaxing environment without concerning about the forms and functions of the language.

Kilickaya (2004) cited from Matsuda (n.d.) who claimed that using audio-visual materials aiding students’ comprehension is beneficial since it will prevent students especially beginning ones from being frustrated about authentic materials. Materials such as popular and traditional songs will help us to create a non-threatening environment.

Based from what Matsuda claimed we can agree that audio visual materials appeal to the eye and ear as they provide for a systematic improvement of knowledge and skills, as well as a favorable influence on attitudes and appreciations therefore learners will not only have fun but at the same time they will learn to acquire the language. After all learning is an ongoing process and both sides need to give their full cooperation in making the lesson lively and enjoyable.

Amy Beth Rell (2005) had cited in her review of the book by Nancy Rhodes and Ingrid Pufahl, Language by Video: An Overview of Foreign Language Instructional Videos for Children which proposes that videos itself are capable of serving as the language program in its entirety.

From here, it is understandable that audio visual materials are important and capable in language learning as it provides authentic language input thus made it clear that audio visual can enhance vocabulary acquisition.

Ali Murtaza, Muhammad Naseer Ud Din, Faridullah Khan (2011) says that the advantages of using audiovisual instructional techniques during teaching- learning sessions are immense and remarkable as compared to the traditional methods of teaching since they can enhance classroom learning, create opportunity for individualized learning programs, and can serve as an effective tool for motivating students to learn.

Based on what Ali Murtaza, Muhammad Naseer Ud Din, Faridullah Khan (2011) says it is safe to conclude that audio visual aids are quite effective during teaching- learning process and audio visual make students’ learning long lasting as compared to the traditional methods of teaching.

Methodology

For this research I will used a quasi experimental research design to investigate the effect of audio visual approaches in L2 vocabulary acquisition. An experimental group using audio visual method and a control group who uses the traditional method of reading. For this research I will be doing a research where the target groups for this data are 60 students of standard 5 in Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Selasih in Gombak. They consist of 19 males and 11 females from the experimental group and 17 females and 13 males from the control group. Both groups had an average proficiency of L2 and had an experienced of learning English for 5 years. Two vocabulary activities will be carried out one using the traditional method of read and write while the other group will learn vocabulary using the audio visual approach where the students will be shown a video of a sing along song provided with subtitles. A pre test and post test will be conducted to measure the students’ performance before and after the experiment. A set of questionnaires will also be distributed to know the learners preferences. The results will then be calculated using percentage by the use of SPSS 12.0 for Windows.

Findings
For this study I hope to conclude that audio visual approach will improve young ESL learners vocabulary acquisition as well as proving that using audio visual method is beneficial and the hope that it can be implemented in an ESL class.

Bibliography

Arslanyilmaz, A & Pederson, S. (2010). Improving Language Production using Subtitle Similar Task Video. Language Teaching Research, 14 (4) 377- 395. Retrieve on 4 October 2011 at http://www.proquest.umi.com

Kilickaya, F. (2004). Authentic Materials and Cultural Content in EFL classrooms. The Internet TESL Journal, 10(7). Retrieved on 4 October 2011 at http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Kilickaya-AuthenticMaterial.html

Murtaza. A, Muhammad Naseer Ud Din, & Khan, F. (2011). Effects of Audio Visual in Students Learning at Secondary Level in District

Rawalpindi. Interdisciplinary Journal and Contemporary Research in Business, 2(10), 439. Retrived on 4 October 2011 at http://ezproxy.um.edu.my:2110/pqdweb?did=2296009931&sid=3&Fmt=3&clientId=18803&RQT=309&VName=PQD.

Rell, A. B. (2005). Language by Video. (Review of the book Language by Video: An Overview of Foreign Language Instructional Videos for Children, by Rhodes, N & Pufahl, I). Linguistic and Education, 16, 459-461. Retrieve on 4 October 2011 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0898589806000465

3. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - October 28, 2011

‘TESCO 3’: A Technique in Developing and Improving Coherence in
Paragraph Writing among Secondary School ESL Learners

Pushpa Kandasamy
Faculty of Education, University of Malaya

Abstract:

Writing has always been regarded as playing a prominent role in learning a second language. Of the numerous studies conducted on this field from various aspects, lack of coherence has been drawing increasing attention among the researchers. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using ‘TESCO 3’ as a technique in developing supporting paragraphs and improving coherence in them. Twenty Form Three intermediate students will involve in this case study. A combination of quantitative instrument, questionnaire and ‘TESCO 3’ experiment as the qualitative instrument is employed in this study and to compile the statistics, computer software SPSS is used.

Key words: ‘TESCO 3’, Technique, Developing and Improving Coherence, Paragraph Writing

1.0 Introduction

Writing is a process of forming a text as a communicative bridge between the reader and the writer. It is an important skill that is acquired over time and with much practice. Knowing the significance of acquiring a good writing skill in reinforcing a language, writing is receiving more attention in ESL context. Undeniably, in recent years, research into student writing shows that one of the major problems is the lack of coherence in the flow of ideas through a composition (Guo & Wang 2005). Failure in developing the ideas with good writing skills creates problems for the ESL learners to improve coherence in their paragraph writing. Wang and Sui (2006) conducted a study on measuring coherence using Latent Semantic Analysis and it was proven that it is a feasible and objective method for teachers to accurately evaluate students’ writing ability. However, evaluating students’ writing proficiency would be inadequate if they could not develop the ideas well because in writing, the ability to develop ideas is very important in order to have coherence in paragraph writing.

In relation to this, Wenyu and Yang (2008) carried out a research on EFL writing strategy and it was revealed that the ESL learners could not handle the strategy of coherence well. It could be pointed out that a good writing skill is needed in order to develop the text coherently. Prior to this, Shokrpour and Fallahzadeh (2007) demonstrated that ESL learners have problem both in language as well as in writing skill which had led to inappropriateness in writing a text report. Obviously, these findings give a picture that serious attention pertaining to paragraph development and improving coherence is needed because failure in writing the paragraphs coherently will lead to breakdown in communication as writing is a social act which reflects the writer’s communicative skills in conveying messages. With this in mind, Huang, Liang and Dracopoulos (2011) had tried translation method from Chinese (L1) to English (L2) writing class and it was identified that this method had given an impact on the content and might be useful in making the learners’ essays coherent to some extent as both the languages have different linguistic systems. In advanced to this, Masputeriah and Malini (2010) made an evident that ESL students faced difficulties in relation to coherence in writing an essay and the responses from the interviewee also complemented the findings of the study. They also suggested that useful techniques and strategies are needed to help the students to develop the ideas and improve coherence in paragraph writing. Therefore, the teachers have to give special attention upon formulating techniques to develop the ideas in paragraphs and improve the textual coherence of their students’ compositions.

Extending the line of previous research, this study would introduce ‘TESCO 3’ as a technique to improve writing skills. ‘TESCO 3’- a product-process based approach is actually an acronym for “Topic sentence, Examples, Supporting details, Connectors, Conjunctions & Concluding sentence” that should be included in developing the supporting paragraphs. The objectives of the present study are to investigate the effectiveness of using ‘TESCO 3’ in developing the supporting paragraphs and to improve coherence in writing them. It is also aimed at investigating students’ perception on the use of ‘TESCO 3’ in enhancing writing skills. To achieve these objectives, the following research questions are pursed:

1. Could ‘TESCO 3’ enable students to develop the supporting paragraphs?
2. Does coherence in writing supporting paragraphs improve when ‘TESCO 3’ is introduced?
3. How do students perceive ‘TESCO 3’ in enhancing writing skill?

2.0 Methodology
2.1 Participants

The participants are twenty Form Three students aged 15, enrolled in a secondary school in the district of Segamat, Johor. They are the learners of English as a second language. Given that the students are placed in the class on the basis of the year end examination result, they are fairly homogeneous in terms of their L2 writing proficiency. Random sampling technique is used to choose the samples to avoid favouritism and biasness as well.

2.2 `Research Design
The quasi-experimental research design to compare the performances of two naturally occurring groups namely, the control and the experimental group is proposed in the present case study. Each group will consist of 10 students of intermediate level.

2.3 Instruments
The general design of the study is quantitative and qualitative in nature as a questionnaire and ‘TESCO 3’ experiment to access the effectiveness of using ‘TESCO 3’ in developing and improving coherence in supporting paragraphs will be implemented for data collection. One of the instruments for the qualitative procedure is that the students’ written paragraphs.

2.4 Procedures

A combination of quantitative and qualitative procedures will be employed to analyse the data collected via questionnaire and TESCO 3 experiment. Both the research procedures are set to test the effectiveness of using ‘TESCO 3 as the independent variables as well as the dependent variables known as developing the supporting paragraphs and improving coherence in them using ‘TESCO 3’. 20 students will involve in this case study in which they will be divided equally into two groups. The control group will attend the class as usual and write the paragraphs as discussed. Meanwhile, the experimental group will be introduced to ‘TESCO 3’ in paragraph writing. During the first week of the experiment, the students are assigned to write one paragraph according to the main point given and the written paragraphs will be collected to do comparisons with the post-test later. Towards the end of the experiment, students in both the groups will be given a post -test to see the effectiveness of using ‘TESCO 3’ in developing and improving coherence in the supporting paragraphs. Data will be collected in order to answer the first 2 research questions aimed, which would be focusing on both, the independent and dependent variables. After the post-test, the students will be given a questionnaire which is developed to collect the intended data in accordance with the third research question.

2.5 Data collection
Data collection will occur in week one and three of the experiment as mentioned in the research procedures. Following Creswell’s (2003), a five-point Likert scale with 1 for strongly disagree and 5 for strongly agree would be given in order to collect data on students’ perception about ‘TESCO 3’ in paragraph writing.

2.6 Data analysis

Both qualitative and quantitative instruments will be employed to improve the reliability and validity of the study. In order to address the quantitative analysis, the collected data will be analysed using computer software SPSS. On the other hand, for the ‘TESCO 3’ experiment, the written paragraphs will be observed and analysed so that the findings would create a new room for future studies. At the same time, the analysed data would find the answers whether there is a correlation between the independent and dependent variables mentioned.

3.0 Discussion

In ESL contexts, where exposure to English is extremely limited, more effective approaches and techniques to writing and teachable skills have to be applied in the writing classroom. In this case, the present study would use ‘TESCO 3’ as a technique in helping the students to develop the supporting paragraphs as well as to improve coherence in them. This would assist the ESL teachers and learners in the process of teaching the writing skill. Besides arousing their interest towards learning, this authentic and catchy technique could come in handy for the intermediate ESL students in the process of writing. However, this study has a limitation in which only 20 students from one particular school will be chosen. Thus, future study is required with an ideal sampling method in order to make the findings valid and reliable.

4.0 Conclusion

In a nutshell, ‘TESCO 3’ is outlined to help the teachers and students in the process of teaching and learning the writing skill in ESL classrooms. Let’s “TESCO 3” be part and parcel of the writing skill rather than merely being a paradise for household items all this while. Greatly hoping that ‘TESCO 3’ would help the students to develop the supporting paragraphs better and at the same time this programme would become a ‘hands-on’ checklist as the students and teachers could use it in teaching and learning process and gradually improve coherence in paragraph writing.

REFERENCES

Cresswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Guo, L.Q., & Wang, H.L. (2005). Analysis of error types in Chinese English learners’ writing. Sino-Us English Teaching, 1(5), 9-13.

Huang, X., Liang, X., & Dracopoulos, E. (2011). A study on the relationship between university students’ Chinese writing proficiency and their English writing proficiency. English Language Teaching, 4(2), 55-65.

Masputeriah Hamzah & Malini Karuppiah. (2010). Improving coherence in paragraph writing among ESL learners. Unpublished undergraduate degree thesis, University Technology of Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Shokrpour Nasrin & Fallahzadeh Mohammed Hossein. (2007). A survey of the students and interns’ EFL writing problems in Shiraz University of medical sciences. The Asian EFL Journal, 9(1), 147-163. Retrieved 29.09.2011, from
http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/March_07_ns&mf.php

Wang, H., & Sui, D. (2006). Measuring coherence in Chinese EFL major’s writing through LSA (Latent Semantic Analysis). The Asian EFL Journal, 10(2), 1-24. Retrieved 29 September 2011, from http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/pta_april_06_hw&ds.php

Wenyu, L., & Yang, L. (2008). Research on EFL writing strategy using SRP: An empirical study in Dut. The Asian EFL Journal, 10(2), 51-83. Retrieved 02 October 2011, from http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/June_08_lw.php

4. Ghivitha a/p Kalimuthu (PGP 110004) - October 28, 2011

Ghivitha a/p Kalimuthu
PGP 110004

Using reciprocal teaching to overcome reading comprehension problem among college students.

1.Introduction
Reading comprehension is the heart and goal of reading, since the purpose of all reading is to gather meaning from printed pages. If a student says words in a passage without gathering their meaning, one would hesitate to call that reading. Reading comprehension skills separates the “passive” unskilled reader from the “active” readers. Skilled readers don’t just read, they interact with the text. To enter the present literate society; students must know how to learn from reading (Hui, F.S., 2010). Reading comprehension skills increase the pleasure and effectiveness of reading.

2.Statement of the problem
A majority of college students facing problem in reading as they do not understand the text. Students unable to answer the comprehension question as they did not understand the text and finding it difficult. According National Reading Panel (2000), amount of focus on foundational skills is comprehensible because decoding skills are fundamental to successful reading (Alireza Karbalaei, Fatemeh Azimi Amoli, 2011). Students having problem in reading comprehension because they did not use metacognitive and scaffolding skills while reading. They unable to get clear information from the text as they do not understand the words and main idea. Some researcher have identified students who are not able to comprehend text effectively in spite of successful decoding (Caccamise and Snyder, 2005; Duke, Pressley and Hilden, 2004; Underwood and Pearson, 2004) (Alireza Karbalaei, Fatemeh Azimi Amoli, 2011). As students step into higher level in education, reading comprehension plays a more important role as a primary source of knowledge (Alireza Karbalaei, Fatemeh Azimi Amoli, 2011).

3.Purpose of the study.
This research is investigating usage of reciprocal teaching in solving reading comprehension problem among college students. As students did not understand the text by reading in tradition method, reciprocal teaching strategy is applied. Students find difficult to understand the reading as they read the text without analysing the deeper meaning of the text. First objective of this research is to equip students with the necessary skills in reading comprehension. It is intended to guide students in learning and utilizing the necessary skills needed in a reading comprehension process. Second objective of this research is to help teachers encourage active participation from students.

4.Literature review
Few researches are conducted on reciprocal teaching. Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity that takes place in the form of dialogue between teachers and students regarding segments of text. The dialogue is structured by the use of four strategies: summarizing, questioning, clarifying and predicting. The teacher and students take turn assuming the role of teacher in leading this dialogue (Palincsar, 1986). Teacher will guide the students when teaching reciprocal strategy and will let the students to take over their learning slowly. Palinscar and Brown developed the reciprocal teaching process where students work in teams numbering four or five students and each member will take turn in reading the text aloud while other members follow the text ( Cooper. T ,, Greive .C (2009). Reciprocal teaching consists of three main components, (a) the teaching and learning of specific reading comprehension strategies, (b) the dialogues between a instructor and students where the instructor models why, when and where to use these reading comprehension strategies, and (c) the appropriating of the role of the instructor by the students, that is students begin to model the reading comprehension strategies to other students. (Doolittle, P.E., Hicks, D., Triplett, F. C., Nicholas, W.D., Young, C.A. (2006).

5.Research questions
The strategy is focusing on the four strategies which are predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing. The main research questions in this study are:
1) Can reciprocal teaching helps in increasing students’ understanding the text better?
2) Does reciprocal teaching affect students’ ability of recall and answer the explicit and implicit comprehension questions?
3) Does teacher gain students’ attention and participant by applying reciprocal teaching in the classroom?

6.Methodology
60 SEGi College students, Seri Kembangan, aged between 19 to 21 years old selected to be tested. There will two groups of students with 30 students in each group. One will be experimental group (students will be teach by using reciprocal strategy) and controlled group (students will be teach without using reciprocal strategy). Methods that will be used to collect the data are
1) Pre-test and post-test.
Pre-test and post-test are selected to measure the student’s improvement before and after using the reciprocal teaching. Pre-test and post-test is created using Bloom Taxonomy steps which is knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation

2) Interview
Students will be interview to collect data through the learning section about the implementation of reciprocal teaching. Two types of interview question was implemented those are structured and unstructured questions.
3) Observation (video record)
Lessons will be video record and will be analysis to see how the students’ participants in learning reading comprehension before and after using reciprocal teaching. The researcher will do the transcript for the video recording after the observation.

7.Analysing data
1) Pre-test and post-test
Data collect by using pre-test and post-test method will be analysing by using t-test analysing method. Students will be answering two reading comprehension questions that contains explicit and implicit comprehension question. Both groups will be given same reading comprehension questions that they will do before reciprocal teaching is apply.
2) Interview
Student’s interview answers will be audio- taped and will be transcribed. Software NUD*IST 6 will be used to analysis the interview answers.
3) Observation (video record)
Observation method will be used to observe students’ response to the reciprocal strategy.. The group-discussion will be transcribed for researcher record and to be analysed. The transcribe will analysis by Software NUD*IST 6. The recorded video will be analysis by using qualitative analysis method.

8.Discussion
By applying reciprocal teaching students will be able to understand the text better as they will learn to use four strategies to be used in reading the text. The four strategies will teach the students a new steps that they can follow when they reading a text. Students’ ability in recalling and answering the comprehension questions will improve as they will use the four strategies in understanding the text. By using four strategies in reading which is questioning, clarifying, predicting and summarizing, students will able to remember the content of the text and important information. This will help them to recall it when they answer explicit and implicit comprehension questions. Teacher can gain students’ attention and participants in reading class because in this teaching method teacher will play a part as monitor after teaching the students the strategies. Reciprocal teaching will be more students’ centre than teacher’s centre. Students will take role as teacher to teach their friends in their group.

9.Conclusion
Reciprocal teaching will be a good method to apply in teaching reading comprehension to college students as they aware about their own thinking skills and will be manage their own learning. College students also will be able to understand the reciprocal strategies better as they will more prior knowledge and ability to understand the learning better. So by applying reciprocal teaching to college students will help the students to overcome their problem in reading comprehension.

References
*Alireza Karbalaei, Fatemeh Azimi Amoli. (2011). The effect of paraphrasing strategy training on the reading comprehension of college students at the undergraduate level. Asian EFL Journal, 13(3), 229-244.

*Doolittle, P.E., Hicks, D., Triplett, F. C., Nicholas, W.D., Young, C.A. (2006). Reciprocal
teaching for reading comprehension in higher education: A strategy for fostering the deeper understanding of texts. International Journal of teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 17 (2), 106-118.

*Hamzah A.Omari, Hani A.Weshah. (2010). Using the reciprocal teaching methods by teachers at Jordanian schools. European Journal of Social Sciences, 15(1), 26-39.

*Hui, F.S. (2010). Reading strategy use, self-efficacy and EFL reading comprehension. Asian EFL Journal, 12(2), 18-42.

5. Anita a/p V. Sivanesan ( PGP110010) - October 28, 2011

Anita a/p V.Sivanesan (PGP110010)
Thesis Proposal ( SLA, PBGX6113 )

Topic : The effect of pre-listening activities on
the listening performance of young ESL
learners

INTRODUCTION
It is taken for granted that people are able to listen in their mother tongue with ease, but listening in the second language (L2) is hard work, especially for young children. In the early stages, the pupils may spend much of their time listening to the teacher while playing some simple games, singing songs, reciting rhymes or listening to stories. It is important to remember that listening is an active process. Asking pupils to simply ‘listen and remember’ may cause anxiety, and strain on their memory thus leading to poor listening skills.

Statement of problem
A majority of pupils in primary schools in Malaysia face difficulty comprehending the spoken language, especially in one-way listening situation where they do not have the opportunity to see or interact with the speaker. One such situation that poses particular challenges is asking them to comprehend a recorded input. According to (Chang & Read, 2006), difficulties are created by the pupils’ limited knowledge of the language system and their lack of experience in hearing fluent natural speech in the target language. The situation becomes worse if the speakers are native speakers of the target language.
Pupils face problems in comprehending listening texts due to their limited vocabulary and the lack of control over the speed at which speakers speak. They feel that the utterances disappear before they can sort them out. This frequently means that the pupils who are learning to listen cannot keep up. They are so busy working out the meaning of one part of what they hear that they miss the next part, or they simply ignore a whole chunk because they fail to sort it out quickly enough. They also face difficulty in controlling the input, whereby they are not in the position to get the speaker to repeat an utterance. Therefore, they experience considerable stress when taking a listening test. These affective factors may reduce the validity of listening tests as measures of ESL learners’ listening comprehension ability.

Purpose of the Study and Research Questions
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of pre-listening activities on the listening performance of 80 primary school pupils in a school in Klang. It is unfair to plunge pupils straight into the listening task without any orientation to it (Chang & Read, 2006), as it is difficult for them to make sense of the input. So, before listening, pupils should be exposed to what to expect from the listening activity. This kind of preparatory work is generally described as pre-listening activity. The teacher will be able to support pupils’ understanding more effectively if she directs her pupils’ attention to specific points that have to be listened for. Pupils can achieve a high level of success and are confident that they can listen effectively, when they are exposed to considerable pre-listening support. The objective of this study is to
i. improve pupils listening performance through the use of pre-listening activities
ii. make listening purposeful for primary school pupils
iii. help pupils understand what listening entails, and how they might approach it
effectively

Given the lack of pupils’ everyday experience with the spoken language, L2 listeners have a particular need to be tuned in (Martinez, 2009), rather than being plunged straight into a listening task (Chang & Read, 2006), without any prior exposure to it. To help listeners focus on specific listening task, the teacher can use various pre-listening activities such as pre-teaching vocabulary and sentence structures, previewing questions, pre-listening to relevant topics and pre-discussing relevant topics. According to Buck (1995), these preparatory activities can provide a context for interpretation and can activate background knowledge. Mendelson (1995) also points out that the important role for pre-listening activities is “to activate the students’ existing knowledge of the topic in order for them to link what they comprehend and to use this as a basis for their hypothesis-information, prediction and inferencing” (p.140). This is in line with Krashen’s Natural Approach theory ( i + 1 theory), whereby learning is in the schemata of the brain and it is gained naturally when input is understood. Providing listeners with the knowledge of contextual support required for the task can orient them to what they are listening to and thus direct their attention to the task rather than having them listen aimlessly.
Although researchers argue that pre-listening activities have positive effects, little research exists pertaining to their effectiveness in improving pupils’ performance on a listening comprehension task. Several studies have looked at the role of background knowledge in a more general way by exploring the influence of the pupils’ pre-existing knowledge based on content schemata. However, none of these studies really involved any pre-listening activities in the classroom to prepare pupils for an unfamiliar topic.
Based on the discussion above, the present study seeks to answer the following research questions.
i. To what extent does background knowledge
improve pupils’ listening skills?
ii. How does pre-listening activities improve
pupils’ performance on a listening task?
iii. How does pre-listening activities help
pupils understand what listening entails?

LITERATURE REVIEW
Listening is the most important skill required for communication. If we are not able to listen, we will not be able to communicate effectively. Underwood (1990) defines listening as “the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear” (p.1). In order to comprehend the spoken language successfully, we need to be able to work out what speakers mean when they use certain words in certain ways on particular occasions. According to Brown and Yule, the listener has to place language in a ‘context of situation’ in order to work out what the speaker means. Can L2 listeners, who acquired this complex skill so seemingly effortlessly in L1, be taught how to listen in L2? Would emphasis to pre-listening activities lead to better comprehension outcomes? Questions such as these have received little attention in the research literature on the listening performance of especially primary school pupils.

The cognitivist theory in listening
The focus of the cognitivist theory is constantly on learning as an active, mental process. The role of the teacher is to arrange and present new information in such a way that learners can relate the new information to their own mental structure and previous knowledge
In the listening context, comprehension is achieved if we know the topic under discussion and have the context of the listening situation ( who is speaking, what is the relationship between the characters, where the conversation takes place, etc.). That’s why we should use the pre-listening activities to prepare pupils, to set the scene and activate their schemata by encouraging them to think and discuss what the context will be like on the one hand, and to elicit information they already know about the content of the listening texts, on the other. This last issue is crucial in the listening process as there is a close interaction between the linguistic difficulty of a text and the amount of background knowledge the receiver of the message has (Nunan, 1984). In the same way, Shank and Albelson (1977), in their Script and Schema theory, explain that we organize the knowledge of the world around scripts ( a restaurant script, cinema script, school script, etc.) which help us to understand what it is not explicitly said. ‘The use of pre-listening activities not only helps the pupils to prepare to listen but also can be a strong predictor of success in the listening task’ (Martinez, 2009).
Research into pre-listening activities has documented positive effect on listening performance for visuals (Ginther, 2002; Seo, 2002, video clips (Wilberschied & Berman, 2004), advance organizers (e.g. Chung, 2002; Herron, Cole, York, & Linden, 1998), question type (Flowerdew & Miller,2005) and question preview (Elkhafairi, 2005). These studies have demonstrated that it is helpful to contextualize listeners before they begin to listen

METHODOLOGY

Design

A quasi-experimental non-randomized group design will be carried out to investigate the effect of pre-listening activities on L2 learners’ listening performance. An experimental group (using pre-listening activities) and a control group (not exposed to pre-listening activities) will be created. The two groups will be given a post test pertaining to the listening text to conclude the findings of this study.

Subjects
The participants of the study were 80 pupils from two different classes, from a primary Chinese School in Klang, Selangor. They comprised of 15 females and 25 males (from the control group) and 18 females and 22 males (from the experimental group), all 11 years of age. They all had an average proficiency of L2 and have been studying English for the past 5 years.

Materials and procedure
Two pre-listening activities (looking at a list of items before listening and making predictions ) will be carried out in this study. A post test will be carried out to investigate pupils understanding of the text as a whole and to conclude the findings of the study. Lastly questionnaires will be distributed to the pupils to examine the problems faced during the while-listening activity by the two groups and which group performed the best.
All statistical analyses will be computed using SPSS version 12.0 for Windows.

FINDINGS
In this study, I hope to conclude that exposure to pre-listening activities prior to any listening task, does immensely improve the listening comprehension of young L2 learners.

6. khayaetiry - October 28, 2011

Name: Khayaetiry a/p Mani
I.C. No.: 850925-10-5842
Matrix No.: PGP110027
Subject: PBGS6113 – Research in Second Language Acquisition
Title: The Effectiveness of Pictorial Materials to Enhance ESL
Students’ Reading Comprehension.

Introduction
Reading is an important skill that needs to be developed in children. It is not only necessary for survival in the world of schools and universities later on, but in adult life as well. Given the importance of developing reading to achieve language proficiency, various methods have been developed to aid students. One of which is the use of visual aids. Reading must be regarded as an act of communication. Visual aids play an important role in language learning. It is one element that links the four skills representatively which are the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills all together. According to the website, Audiblox, which state about Visual Perception on an article “Its Role in the Act of Reading,” there is a communicator — the author of the book that the reader is reading, there is a message, transferred to the reader via symbols on paper, and there is a recipient of the message — the reader. It is also stated that the research conducted previously by using visual aids during lessons has that one way of motivating students to read more.

Statement of the problem
It is essential for the ESL learners to understand the concept of reading comprehension in order for them to at least be able to understand the text using English at ease. The teaching and learning of reading comprehension in many schools in Malaysia are rather a neglected area within the language teaching. As for the reading comprehension, there are times when teachers teach comprehension in isolation. In situation like these students face difficulties when using the second language as the words learnt in isolation are meaningless to them. In schools nowadays, the students mostly face problem in reading comprehension because lack of experience and background knowledge on how to read and answer the comprehension questions at the same time.
The pictorial or visual usage has high educational impact in the sense that they can improve students’ reading, (Ciancilio, 1990). Hence, this research investigates the usefulness of an innovative and motivational tool of instruction, pictorial material to be used as an alternative teaching tool in presenting, reinforcing, and applying ideas in reading comprehension. Therefore, pictorial materials can be used as teaching aid to foster the understanding and to create avenue for below average ESL students to gradually build up their reading comprehension strength.

Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this research is to find out whether pictorial materials can be useful to enhance the learning of ESL students in reading comprehension. With the objective to further improve the reading skills among students, pictorial material are classified as an effective tool to meet the broad function of reading comprehension.

Research Objectives
The objectives of this research are:
1. To find out whether pictorial aids help students to answer reading comprehension questions correctly.
2. To find out whether students who are provided with pictorial materials show improvements in their reading comprehension performance.
3. To identify students perception towards pictorial materials in reading comprehension.

Research Questions
1. Can pictorial aids help students to answer reading comprehension questions correctly?
2. Will the students who are provided with pictorial materials show improvements in their reading comprehension performance?

Significant of the study
Reading comprehension among students requires a very complex task from teachers. This area has not been given enough attention and emphasis to make the subject area as the main focus in language learning. This research is carried out in the hope that it will be able to assist teachers to seek ways reducing the problem of learning the English language among students and propose other alternative in teaching by using pictorial materials. Furthermore, this study would also be able to provide significant insight in explaining the promising role of pictorial material in language teaching and learning in the context of Malaysian classroom.

Limitation of the study
Some problems might arise when the research is conducted. The students in the class are of mixed abilities. The teacher must make sure that the activities chosen for the students must be suitable for all levels and are able to attract students’ interest so that ,maximum learning can be achieved. Some students might not be able to expose to the particular pictures. Therefore, the teacher has to find ways to make sure that there are enough copies of picture when the activity is being carried out.

Review of Related Literature
Richard, J.C. and Rodgers, T.S. (1994:73), stated that the pictorial material has been regarded as a useful tool for teaching students for many years. Using of pictorial aids maintain students’ high level of interest in the language. It also provides quick and clear concept of the structures and meaning of words. Pictorial aids will help to build up confidence even among students’ of lower abilities. Thus, the anxiety level is lowered. Pictures also motivate the students who want to read. It also helps to provide the students with information to use in reading, including objects, actions, events and relationships to provide the students with non verbal cues for manipulation work.
According to Vocabulary Learning First Alliance (2000), knowledge of word meaning is critical in reading comprehension. Knowledge of words supports comprehension and wide reading enables the acquisition of word knowledge. School age students are expected to learn new words by reading them in books-not only textbooks but also others such as story books, novels and others. The difference between learning from text compared with learning from pictures results from different types of representation of knowledge.
“Text represents information in symbolic structures of a language and is processed sequentially, that is, word by word or sentence by sentence” by Richard, J.C. and Rodgers, T.S. (1994). “Pictures on the other hand, convey their information by means of visual-spatial structures (that is the special arrangements of the components of the pictures), and thus represents the subject matter by employing the analogy based on common structural properties” by Johnson-Laird, 1983.
Block, E. (1998) stated, “for language teaching, pictures are the possibly the most common visual aids in the classroom. Pictures which are meant to study are taken from the internet itself which can be the cheapest and quickest source. The pictorial clues can help clarify spoken or written language and at the same time will evoke the students’ interest. The effective use of pictorial clues can also stimulate the learners’ imagination towards the text. This will help them to improve their understanding. Visual image training is an excellent way to help students improve their comprehension skills.

Research Design
An experimental design was adopted in this research. It will be in three phases. First the teacher observes the students response through questionnaire and their participation in the class.
At the pre- stage assessment, students will not get any help from the teacher or any materials. Next, in treatment and post assessment sessions the teacher provides the reading task with picture clues.
Then, the teacher brainstorms the pictures accordingly before continuing with the reading task. The post assessment scores provide evidence to show the effectiveness of pictorial materials in helping the students in their reading comprehension task administrated. The result of the students on pre-test and post-test will be compared. This is done to see the improvement in the reading comprehension using pictorial aids after the treatment.
Then an interview session will be conducted with the teachers and students regarding the reading comprehension before and after the use of pictorial materials.

Population and sample
This study will be conducted Sekolah Menengah Raja Mahadi which is located at Klang, Selangor.
The samples for this research will be drawn from Form 1 with low proficiency. As for the experimental group, students will be choose from those who obtain low mark in their earlier English test done by their English teacher.
These students were from multi racial and various background irrespectively of their gender, race, social and economic background. These students were chosen because students of low achievers need to be exposed to effective and interesting techniques which would facilitate their reading comprehension.

Research Instruments
For the purpose of this study several instruments had been employed. They are questionnaires, pre test, treatment session, post test and also interview session.

Questionnaires
Questionnaires had been used to study the students’ background, reading experiences and relationship towards their first language.

Reading Test
There are three test designs, namely pre- assessment stage, treatment session and post- assessment stage.
(i) Phase One- Pre Assessment Stage
At pre-assessment stage, students will be given reading comprehension assessment to test their reading level. The text will be provided without any pictures. Here, the students were asked to answer the questions based on the text given.
(ii) Phase Two- Treatment Session
In treatment session, the students will be given pictures and explanations accordingly before reading the text. Students were asked to answer the question based on the texts and pictures given to help the students to understand the text completely.
(iii) Phase Three- Post Test
At phase three, post- test was conducted. Students will be given the same worksheet as in the pre- assessment but provided with pictures. The effectiveness of pictorial aids in reading comprehension will be identified from the result of mean scores in the three tests.

Conclusion
This research attempts to investigate pictures as useful tools to enhance the low proficiency ESL student’s reading comprehension. The objectives of the research are to determine the effectiveness of pictorial materials in fostering positive attitude, promoting students interest and motivation towards language learning in the classroom.

Reference

Andreson, R., Pichert, J., & Shirley, L. (1983). Effects of the Readers’ Schemata at Different Points in Time. Journal of Education psychology, 75(2), 271-279.

Beck, I.L., Perfetti, C.A., & McKeown, M.G. (1982). Effects of long-term vocabulary instruction on lexical access and reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 506-521.

Davey, B., & McBride, S. (1986). Effects of question generating training on reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(4), 256-262.

Singer, H., & Donlan, D. (1982). Active comprehension: Problem-solving schema with question generation for comprehension of complex short stories. Reading Research Quarterly, 17, 166-186.

Taylor, B.M., & Beach, R.W. (1984). Effects of text structure instruction on middle-grade students’ comprehension and production of expository text. Reading Research Quarterly, 19(2), 147-161.

7. PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - October 28, 2011

FACULTY OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITI OF MALAYA

MASTER IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION

PBGS6113 RESEARCH PROPOSAL
SEMESTER 1 2011/2012

Name: PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN

Matric Num: PGP110011

Topic: Analysis On English Conversational Topic Shifts Among Chinese Students.

Date of Submission: 28 – 10 – 2011

CHAPTER 1
1.1 INTRODUCTION
Conversational topic shifts is define as the art of conversation whereby there is no definite beginning or closing because conversation is not set. Therefore, at one point of time, there will be a term when a person wants to shift a topic of conversation indirectly in order to retain the conversation alive ( Eve Carmichael, 2004).

As in a conversation, listener and speaker plays an important role as to adjudicate a good conversation. Shifts and conversion betide unconsciously since there is no definite track of a conversation. As a result, a topic basically ‘is a chunk of talk that hangs together because it is about the same thing” (Coates , 1996: 68).

As reported by Lakoff (1995), in the interim, conversation also fluctuate according to the gender in which men an women assimilate due to its linguistically socialization because the supremacy and authority lieson on male compared to a female.

As stated in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, page 320 (8th Edition), conversation is define as “an informal talk involving a small group of people or only two. Hence, conversation is an interactive tool among people who tend to converse spontaneously in their daily life. Conversation, therefore is an ideal social interaction whereby the purpose and persistence of communication can vary or differ from each another in which an unrestrained approach is use by a speaker to designate views and opinions under the area of discussion. On a daily basis, conversation may shift from a casual talk to a crucial talk among individuals and this shift is an important exchange that substitute a discussion or conversation.

Wrapping up, topic shifts is an attention-grabbing topic to analyse on since it divulge the pattern of uniquness that complies the presence of several techniques that are used to designate a shift from one topic to another. Therefore, this research would focus on the analysis of conversation among chinese students and how students perpetrate topic shifts.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Naturally, men and women tend to communicate using the language approach as to their daily basis communicative tool. Fundamentally, it is proven that, woman encompass a tendency to speak more compared to man (David, Kuang & Don, 2002).
Since Malaysia is a well-known multicultural country, we fuse a combination of three different race which consist of Malay, Chinese and Indian whereby each constitution speaks in a diverse approach. In agreement with David, Kuang & Don ( 2002), it is stated that Malay female tend to converse in a polite manner using the indirect speech likewise Chinese and Indian female are impolite since they communicate using the direct speech. This shows that, culture too plays an important role in determining and shaping ones’ conversation style. Thus, the main purpose of this researh is to investigate how Malaysian Chinese students deals with the daily communicative approach using topic shifts as the main element in generating conversations and the students involment in the conversation.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study and investigation by some means contributes a new insight of the topic shifts transmit a discourse approach via Chinese students to recognize the consistency and lucidity in their daily communication. Thus, this study examines the strategies used by Chinese students to shift topics in informal conversations using gender as the experiment as it will provide much input of this of this research.

1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to analyse the occurrence of various aspects of topic shifts that transpire in a recorded conversation among chinese students. There are two feasible aims of this study which consists of :
i. to identify an assortment of topic shifts within a conversation among chinese students (male and female)
ii. identify topic shifts that are used as in a communication strategy that deals with gender interaction and interface.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the objective mention, this study will attempt to answer the following research questions:
(i) How would a student response to a conversation using topic shifts?
(ii) What are the types and strategies of topic shifts transpire within chinese male and female student?
(iii) Which gender shift more, male or female?

1.6 LIMITATIONS
Basically, this study is limited to the interaction among one particular community (Chinese). Two recordings will be given for each gender (male and female). Each group consists of 2 to 4 interlocutors who are the diploma students of a private college in the Klang Valley.

CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 RELEVANT THEORIES
A research had been conducted by Maria Edvardsson (2007) centered on gender disparity in topic shifs and inauguration consisting of diversified conversation. The method used was obtaining ten girls and six boys from the upper secondary who was also the second language learners (English). Topical episode analysis (Korolija, 1998) were used as the data collection and as a result, it was found that boys actually inaugurate more than girls even though the number of girls participants were more compared to boys. As a consequence, this study analyzes how different gender communicates within a community. In a nutshell, Maria concludes that boys fraternize additional linguistic which allows them to govern the topic shifts in a conversation.

Elsa Petit (2005) states that topic shifts plays an important role with the environment, nature and function of topics in a conversation. Petit analysis demonstrates on French friends who consist solely on single sex friendship group and the data recordings entail only male and female group consisting of four recording each gender respectively. It was found that, topic conversation is an important ingredient in grounding friendship. In such terms, each gender has its own ability to create and generate on topics within a conversation according to their own needs that deals with his/her strategies comprising questions and responses during the conversation.

CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
This study uses a qualitative method which focuses on a connatural setting comprises direct conversation (face to face interaction) whereby it focalizes essentially on a small group of undergraduate Chinese students.

3.2 DATA COLLECTION
Multifaceted patterns of topic shifts were used whereby recordings consisting of transcription
recorded naturally within a conversation among the participants. Before the recording, the researcher will briefly explain about the aim of the recording. Permission acquired from the participant and they will be given a list consisting of the schedule of the recording. Participant will then opt a specific time for themselves. Students are expected to speak willfully and freely since they were given the endeavor to converse spontaneously. Data will be transcribed as in a taped conversation.

3.3 BACKGROUND OF THE PARTICIPANTS
As a whole, two male speakers and two female speakers appertain to chinese ethnic which are use as an experiment tool. Interlocutors range from 17-20 years old which consist of two to four speakers from the similar gender. They are choosen randomly among the undergraduate students.

3.4 RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION
Topic shifts is an essential topic in order to analogize the types of topic shifts in a daily conversation. It is somehow a natural process when speakers tend to perform topic shifts unintentionally in order to keep the conversation going. To sum up, the purpose of this research is to analyze the use of topic shifts among Chinese students and how gender differs within a conversation and interaction.

REFERENCES

Carmichael, E. (2004). Make good conversation tip of the week. Retrieved 25, October, 2011, from http://www.entertainmates.com/conversation/convers_tips_024.asp

Coates, J. (1996). Women talk. Great Britain: Blackwell Publishers.

David, M.K, Kuang, C.H, and Don. Z.M. (2002). ‘Routines of Requests in an Academic Setting’. In Lee, C. and Littlewood, W. (eds.), Culture, Communication and Language Pedagogy. Hong Kong: Language Centre. (p. 1-20).

Edvardsson, M. (2007). Topic shift and initiation from a gender perspective – A study of conversational topic shifts among second language learners of English. Karlstads University.

Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and Women’s Place. New York: Harper and Row Publ.

Petit, E. (2005). Topics of Conversation and Gender in French Single-Sex Friendship Groups. University of London.

Stevenson, A.(2002). Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (8th ed.). USA: Oxford University Press

8. Gwendolyn Gail Yong - October 28, 2011

NAME : GWENDOLYN GAIL YONG
STUDENT ID : PGP 110031

THE INFLUENCE OF L1 PRONUNCIATION TOWARDS EFL PRONUNCIATION AMONG PRE-UNIVERSITY CHINESE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Pronunciation in English language acquisition has always been ignored in the classroom learning environment. Many nonnative teachers and learners of English as a second language feel that being able to communicate with English native speakers is the most important aspect of learning the language. As long as nonnative speakers have the fluency or accuracy, it is sufficient to survive. According to Sifakis & Sougari (2005), they have concluded that teachers’ viewpoints are predominantly norm-bound where accents and pronunciations are less important. However, as a teacher, it is important to highlight pronunciation in the classroom regardless.

In countries where English is taught as a foreign language (EFL) face pronunciation problems due to the influence of the first language (L1). One example can be focused on is China. English education Chinese schools have been implemented yet many students do not master the language thoroughly and successfully since they thought English is not important till they venture into tertiary education. Researches have been done on the English education in China in the aspects of the language policy, developing and planning of methodologies in teaching English, the linguistic situation and also the professional development of English teachers in China (Wang & Gao, 2008). Yet, these have not helped improve students’ performance in English and in particular: pronunciation.

There are many ways to expose learners to the correct pronunciation. With the help of endless guidance from the right source of teaching and learning, students will have a higher percentage in being able to pronounce correctly.

1.1 Problem Statement

English pronunciation in China is not well delivered in the classroom. English teachers in China do not emphasize on the aspects the speaking skills where it is less practiced in the classroom and outside the classroom. Teachers mainly drill their students for accuracy in the language since mastering English grammar is not easy and it is so much different than Chinese grammar. Therefore, pronunciation is omitted in the second language acquisition. Many ESL teachers have no formal preparation to teach pronunciation (Derwing & Munro, 2005). It was said that international Chinese students who have gone overseas to study had problems with coping in their studies and especially in communicating because the English that they learn back in their country is different than what they face in reality. Many Chinese students are not able to face the social competence in their daily lives and this leads to speaking in their L1 among themselves. However, I am determined to investigate how do the L1 influences pronunciation in the EFL and what can activities in the classroom will help Chinese students with their pronunciation.

1.2 Research Question

The objective of conducting this research is to investigate and extend the knowledge on the problems faced by Chinese students in terms of pronunciation. I have constructed two questions as follow:

(i) What are the main factors of poor pronunciation among EFL Chinese learners?
(ii) What speaking activities will help in the pronunciation in the EFL acquisition?

1.3 Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate problems faced by Chinese EFL learners in acquiring the target language in terms of pronunciation. The areas that will be covered are the possible main factors and contributing factors to why Chinese EFL learners have difficulties with pronunciation in English.

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

The exposure of English in China has increased over the years where it is not only used academically and socially but also commercially. In contrast, the nature and diversity of EFL contexts have not been fully explored (Sun & Chen, 2002). Therefore, Chinese-English bilingual studies were introduced into the education system in order to increase the quality of English learning in schools. Yet, this move is another failure. According to Hu (2008), so-called Chinese–English bilingual education has always been controversial.

It is said that the downsides of learning EFL is the influence of the L1. EFL learners will have strive is acquiring the target language. Learning a L2 acquisition is fundamentally different from L1 acquisition in that L2 learners bring complete knowledge of their L1 to the L2 acquisition task (Oh, 2010). The influence of L1 towards the pronunciation in EFL learning is rather evident which has caused confusion among native speakers of English. In the ESL classroom, EFL learners do learn the phonetic symbols in which will guide them in pronouncing correctly in the target language. But they still fail to pronounce correctly even with phonetic guidance. For example, ‘thank you’ is pronounced as ‘sank you’. Based on researches done, it is has been reported that Chinese speakers from different backgrounds substitute different variants for the voiceless interdental fricative theta [θ] in English (Rau, Cheng & Tarone, 2009).

3.0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 Population and Sample of Study

The chosen samples were 60 pre-university Chinese international students in UMS Link Holdings Sdn. Bhd. studying a six-month English foundation programme. Two groups were formed according to their proficiency level: 30 students from the controlled group, Group A (pre-intermediate level) and 30 from the experimental group, Group B (elementary level).

3.2 Data Gathering Instrument

An experimental research was used to collect data which four different speaking activities were conducted in the speaking classroom. The two groups will be given a posttest in relation to the speaking activities to sum up the findings of this study.

Role plays, storytelling, demonstration speech and debates were the four activities used to improve students’ oral pronunciation. A pre-oral test was given to the students in which they were interviewed with short general questions during their placement test. By the end of the first three months, the students’ will be given a posttest which was their mid-term examination where their pronunciation will be observed.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Language acquisition
Language learning; the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge in language.

First language (L1)
One’s native language; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next.

Second language (L2)
1. (Linguistics) a language other than the mother tongue that a person or community uses for public communication, esp. in trade, higher education, and administration.
2. (Linguistics) a non-native language officially recognized and adopted in a multilingual country as a means of public communication.

Target language (TL)
1. The language into which a text written in another language is to be translated.
2. A language that a nonnative speaker is in the process of learning.

Pronunciation
1. The act or manner of pronouncing words; utterance of speech.
2. A way of speaking a word, especially a way that is accepted or generally understood.
3. A graphic representation of the way a word is spoken, using phonetic symbols.

Reference:

Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (2005). Second language accent and pronunciation teaching: A research-based approach. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), pp 379-397.

Hu, G. (2008). Chinese-English bilingual education in China. Review of Educational Research, 78(2), pp 195-231.

Oh, E. (2010). Recovery from first language transfer: The second language acquisition of English double objects by Korean speakers. Second Language Research, 26(3), pp 407-439.

Rau, V.D., Chang, A.H., and Tarone, E.E. (2009). Think or sink: Chinese learners’ acquisition of the English voiceless interdental fricative. Language Learning, 59(3), pp 581-621.

Sifakis, N.C., and Sougari, A. (2005). Pronunciation issues and EIL pedagogy in the periphery: A survey of Greek state school teachers’ beliefs. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), pp 467-487.

Sun, G., and Cheng, L. (2002). From context to curriculum: A case study of communicative language teaching in China. TESL Canada Journal, 19(2), pp 62-86.

Wang, W., and Gao, X. (2008). English language education in China: A review of related research. Review of Educational Research, 78(2), pp 195-231.

9. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - October 28, 2011

TITLE
The correlation between L1 lexical knowledge with L2 vocabulary acquisition

INTRODUCTION
▪Background of the research
Malaysia is a multi cultural country that consists of three major ethnicities. Being the largest populated, the Malays have the special attribution thus Bahasa Malaysia became the official national language for this country. Moreover,’ The Malaysia language act32 (1963/1967)’ stated that English can be used beside national language for official purposes; hence this means that English is the national’s second language. This act amendment becomes a source of shifted paradigm to our educational scene, as there is an issue being raised on whether pupils use their L1 (Bahasa Malaysia) lexical knowledge towards their L2 (English) vocabulary acquisition. This research aim primarily to investigate in depth related to this issue.

▪Review of literature
It is a well known fact that vocabulary plays a vital role in language learning, especially for primary school pupils, as without sufficient vocabulary mastery, the pupils would not be able to comprehend a text effectively. An emerging issue of whether L1 lexical knowledge correlates with the acquisition of L2 vocabulary has become a hot issue in our education scene, with a set of mixed views from researchers. Krashen in his ‘monitor model’ (1977) stated that the native language does not necessarily have negative effect on second language, as native language will act as a support system provided that there are similarities with the native language. This view is latter supported by Wolter (2006) with his views that learners with similar L1 lexical networks with L2 would be able to use their L1 lexical knowledge to produce appropriate L2 collocations. There are also differing in views, in contrary to the views explained above. Several researchers oppose the views on the interconnection between L1 lexical knowledge with L2 vocabulary acquisition. Ringbom (1987), cited by Cenoz (1997), in his research concludes that learners tend to have this underlying assumption that there are similarities of the L2 with L1 until they discover that the assumption is unreliable, as the learners begin reading in L2 text with a different basis of knowledge than they had when they starting to read in L1 (Grabe, 1991), cited in Meena Singhal (1998).

▪Objectives of the research
The research primary aim is to investigate on the correlation between L1 lexical knowledge with L2 vocabulary acquisition among Year 5 pupils. In other words, this research intends to serve the objectives below:
a) To investigate whether pupils L1 lexical knowledge affects their L2 vocabulary acquisition.
b) To discover the dependency of pupils L1 lexical knowledge in L2 vocabulary acquisition.
c) To examines the correlation between similarities in phonological aspects of L1 and L2 in L2 vocabulary acquisition.

▪Research questions
a) Is there any significant relationship between pupils L1 lexical knowledge with their L2 vocabulary mastery?
b) Do pupils depend on their L1 lexical knowledge in answering L2 vocabulary questions?
c) Do similarities in the phonological aspect of the L1 and L2 correlates with L2 vocabulary acquisition?

▪Hypotheses
These following hypotheses are used in attempt to answer the research questions. The hypotheses are:
a) Pupils depend on their L1 lexical knowledge to answer L2vocabulary questions.
b). Pupils relate with the L2 vocabulary item better if the phonological aspect of the item is similar to their L1.

METHODOLOGY
A quantitative, correlation type of research will be utilized for this research, using 20 Year 5 pupils, from a public government school in Pahang. The type of sampling is stratified random sampling whereby the pupils are chosen based on the similarities of their English language proficiency level (lower intermediate) and their L1 (Bahasa Malaysia). The pupils will be given a test consist of a short English passage (approximately 100 words), inclusive of several words that phonologically similar to their L1 (e.g: chilli-cili). The words chosen based on the word list in accordance to curriculum specification proposed by the ‘Ministry of Education’. The pupils have to translate the English passage to their L1, to check whether the pupils able to correctly translate words those are phonologically similar to their L1. In addition to that, the pupils have to answer a set of questionnaire pertaining whether they use their L1 knowledge to understand L2 vocabulary. The collected data derived from the test and questionnaire will be analyzed, using SPSS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Cenoz, J. (1997) The influence of bilingualism on multicultural acquisition: some data from Basque country. Unpublished thesis, University of the Basque Country, Spain. Retrieved on 20th October 2011, from http:// webs.uvigo.es/ssl/actas1997/03/Cenoz.pdf.

Krashen, S.(1977). Krashen’s monitor model. Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition (pp 649-662). Retrieved on 16th October 2011, from http://www.cng.edu/TTI/Bilingual Education / Krashen%20Monitor%20Model.pdf.

Meena Singhal (1998). A comparison of L1 and L2 reading: cultural differences and schema. The Internet Tesl Journal, Vol.4. Retrieved on 10th October, from http://iteslj.org/Articles/Singhal-ReadingL1L2.html

Ministry of Education Malaysia (2003) Curriculum specification English language year 5. Retrieved on 20th October 2011, from http://akses.sksriampang.net/HSP02 Bahasa Inggeris/hsp bi sk y5.pdf/

The Commissioner of Law Revision Malaysia (2006).National language acts 1963/1967. Retrieved on 20th October 2011, from http://www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%2032.pdf

Wolter, B.(2006) .Lexical network structures and L2 vocabulary acquisition: the role of L1 lexical/conceptual knowledge. Applied Linguistics,27/4,741-747.

10. SAFIATUN BAHAROM -PGP110009 - October 28, 2011

SAFIATUN BAHAROM ( PGP110009)
RESEARCH TOPIC: TEACHING APPROACHES EMPLOYED BY TEACHERS IN TEACHING POETRY TO LESS PROFICIENT ESL LEARNERS.
1. Introduction
The introduction of literature in schools as a subject in helping and inculcating the students’ interests towards the learning of English as a second language is indeed a major issue nowadays. Literature by itself has much to offer and in the hands of a noble idea especially when the decline in the standard of the English language is a teacher who knows how to explore it, the hidden value of literature can much be learnt. It is hoped that students can give personal response, show awareness of how language is used, draw valuable moral lesson from the issues portrayed in the literary texts and relate to their life’s and to appreciate other cultures. However, for some teachers and students teaching and learning literature is not their cup of tea. One of the challenges for the teachers is teaching poem as it is incorporated in the literature component. Most students dislike and shy away from poetry appreciation. Tseng (2010), Siti Norliana et al. (2009), Fauziah et al. (2008) in their studies suggested negative attitudes are associated with reading poetry whereby students feel that they have difficulties in understanding the poems. The linguistic and cultural obstacles lead to frustration and dishearten students from appreciating poems. But students have no choice regardless of these difficulties but to engage in learning poetry as it is part of the syllabus. So at this juncture, teachers have to take the challenge in ensuring students to unravel the meanings and provide them the opportunity to express their opinions and reactions through the poems they read. The teaching approaches that teachers used in the classroom will guide students in their understanding thus lessening their fear and frustration in understanding the texts.

2. Literature Review
The approaches in teaching Literature.
There are three most common teaching approaches in literature (Lazar, 1993). These approaches will guide teachers in designing their lesson depending on the students’ level and suitability of the materials. The first approach is using literature as content which is usually applied in the tertiary level students who have enough linguistic knowledge to discuss literary texts. This is the traditional approach as the study will focus on historical, political issues or background of the genres. The second approach is literature for personal enrichment where students are encouraged to relate the texts to their own experience. This approach can be an excellent way of getting students to connect the texts with real life situation as some students feels that poems are not relevant in their lives (Evelyn Sharminie, 2005). There will be personal involvement between the learner and the texts. According to Khatib (2011) in his study, confirmed that by getting students involved in the poem based on their own experiences showed tremendous result. Thirdly, language-based approach is used to integrate the literature and language. The main purpose is to enable students to make meaningful interpretations through detailed analysis of the texts. This approach is when the literary texts is used as a resource to stimulate language activities and hence can help students to improve language proficiency.

3. Statement of the problem
As it is hoped that the implementation of Literature in the English can improve students in the language and are able to appreciate the aesthetics values, the teacher plays an important role to tackle the students’ interest in learning literature. Based on my personal teaching experience, the task is not easy as it seems because of the language barriers that ESL students’ have. Students are not able to appreciate the poems taught as most of them feel that the language of poems is difficult to understand. Low proficiency learners will definitely find that learning poem is taxing and difficult. So, what is happening in the teaching of poetry in classes? What are the teaching methods employed by teachers in teaching poetry? Does the teaching of poetry achieve its objective in developing students’ critical thinking? With these questions in mind, it is therefore the intention of the teacher researcher to find out the approaches employed, used by teachers in teaching poetry to low proficiency students. The study is aimed at finding out the strategies or method used by teachers in their teaching of poetry to the low proficiency group of students. . The intention of this study is best presented in the form of research questions as below:
1. What are the approaches used by teachers in teaching poetry
to low proficiency learners?
2. Why do teachers employ such approaches in their teaching?
3. How do teachers’ perceive teaching of poetry to the less
proficient students?
4. How does students’ response to the approaches used by their
teachers?

4. The objective of the study
The objectives of this study are as follows:-
• To find out the approaches used by teachers in teaching poetry
to students.
• To investigate why teachers used the strategies and
approaches to the group of students
• To elicit feedback of students perception over the approaches
used the teaching of poetry
• To study the perception of teachers on the teaching of poetry to
weak learners.

5. Method of the study
This study intends to get a glimpse of what happens in a poetry class. The main aim of the study is to investigate the approaches that teachers practice in teaching poetry to less proficient second language learners.
6.1 Research design and procedure
This study will utilize the quantitative methodology. The data for the study will be retrieved from the questionnaire as the primary instrument and classroom observation. The classroom observation is an 80 minutes class on the teaching of Mr Nobody poem. Next, teachers and students will be given a set of questionnaires for them to answer. Data will be analysed to answer the research questions for the purpose of this study.
6.2 Location and sample of the study.
The study will be conducted in a sub urban school in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Meru, Klang. SMK Meru is a national school located 7 miles from the Meru town. There will be two groups involved in this research. The first group will be 4 English teachers who are teaching less proficient classes. The second group is 80 students from 3 different classes of form 1 students. The determination of the less proficient group is based on their midyear examination administered by the school. The forms 1 are chosen because this group of students have just entered the secondary education level and this would be their first year in the secondary school and learning literature as part of the English syllabus.

7. Conclusion
The study on the approaches employed by teachers in teaching poetry is carried out to look at ways how teachers teach weak learners to understand and appreciate poetry. If the approaches employed by teachers are successful and have a positive effects on students, it will convince that low proficiency learners are able to understand poetry. This will rebut some criticism saying that poetry is difficult to be taught and second language learner have a negative perception in learning poetry. The researcher hopes that this study will provide a clear vision to other ESL teachers, especially new teachers who have to teach Literature. This study will give teachers some insights as the strategies they can used to make the teaching of poetry in an ESL classroom to be a fun, creative and alive.
On the other hand, students’ feedback on the approaches will be valuable information to the teachers. The students’ comments and views will help teachers to think and plan their classroom teaching with a special emphasis on the areas that students are weak at so as to help the students to get the most in the literature classroom. It will guide teachers to form a more dynamic and effective lesson plan to teach low proficiency students. For instance, teachers will be able to see what types of activities are suitable for this group of learners.
It is hoped also the problems that are faced by teachers in teaching poetry to the low proficiency students will give an insight to the curriculum developers to plan for necessary training for teachers in order for them to be able to teach literature effectively so that the objectives of the Literature Component in English can be achieved.
References
Evelyn Sharminie,V. (2005). Teaching poetry to reluctant learners in form four ESL classrooms. Unpublished Master Thesis, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

Fauziah Ismail, Marzilah Abdul Aziz, & Tina Abdullah. (2008). Literature in English language teaching: A revisit in the Malaysian context. In Research in language teaching. (Reprinted from Research in English Language Teaching, 2008, pp. 62- 76). Retrieved from http://teknologimalaysia.academia.edu

Lazar, G. (1993). Literature and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge

Muhammad Khatib. (2011, January). A new approach to teaching English poetry to EFL students. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(1), 164-169.

Siti Norliana Ghazali, Roszainora Setia, Chittra Muthusamy, & Kamaruddin Jusoff. (2009). ESL students’ attitude towards texts and teaching methods used in literature classes. English Language Teaching, 2(4), 51-56

Tseng, F.P. (2010, January). Introducing literature to an EFL classroom: Teacher’s presentations and students’ perceptions. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), 53-65.

11. M Komathi A/P Marappan - October 28, 2011

Matrix no.: PGP110017

1. Proposed Title of the Research
The role stories in the vocabulary acquisition of pupils between 7 to 9 years old

2.Introduction
Stories are perhaps among the oldest methods there are in parting knowledge. Their effectiveness has withstood the time and change. From the Stone Age to the digital era, stories have evolved from one form to another. Previous researches do prove the effectiveness of storytelling in the learning process, especially in instilling values.
The purpose of this research is to investigate vocabulary acquisition through storytelling among the primary school students aged 7 to 9. This would include all the pupils from Year 1 to Year 3 in my small school. I am gathering these classes as one so as to consider them as Level 1 in whole.
Stories compliment and assist children’s language development. This is supported by Chomsky’s innatist theory. By providing a language-rich environment the pupils will acquire the language themselves with a little help from the language acquisition device (LAD). For the LAD to work, the child needs access only to samples of a natural language. These language samples serve as a trigger to activate the device (Lightbown and Spada, 2008). Thus, through stories, I create the opportunity for them to acquire the words through samples of natural language without drill and practice or explicit methods.
Another theory underpinning the use story in the primary ESL classrooms is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Vygotsky emphasized that in a supportive interactive environment, the child is able to advance to a higher level of knowledge and performance…(Lightbown and Spada, 2008). Stories provide the occasion for interaction and serve thus, serve as a scaffolding tool as well. Krashen’s input hypothesis (i+1) also resembles the concept of ZPD, where both stress the importance of interaction. Stories provide the required comprehensible input through a less controlled and more natural, communicative approach. This is goes well with the Malaysian setting as the Ministry of Education promotes the communicative approach.
In this study I will be looking into the vocabulary acquisition of Level 1 primary school children through stories.

3. Background of the study
Through my teaching experience with children, I have noticed how much they enjoy stories in any form. May it be jazz chants like ‘The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Spider’, songs like ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ or even animations and short videos. Often, they repeat certain words that stand out in the story while recapping the story to their friends from other classes. This inspired me to use stories itself as a tool rather just a teaching aid in the vocabulary acquisition.
I will conduct my study with a group of pupils from Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Fraser. There are 15 Level 1 pupils currently enrolled in this rural school, 6 girls and 9 boys aged 7 to 9. Their exposure to English Language is limited to the ESL classroom. Thus, they are totally dependent on the teacher for input on the language with 8 periods (4 hours) of ESL class per week. I will use one of the periods each week for my study. My primary focus will be on their responses to the vocabulary in the story.

4. Statement of the Problem
The problem here is whether the use of stories will successfully increase the number of vocabulary acquired the pupils in my classes. This study will serve to modify my teaching styles if necessary for the benefit of the pupils and to be used as a stepping stone for further related studies in this field.

5. Research Questions
(a) Does the use of stories increase the number of vocabulary acquired by the students?
(b) Does the use of stories help the students in understanding the meaning of the words?

6. Objectives of the study
The study is carried out to determine whether the students will be able to acquire more vocabulary through the use of stories. Another objective is to investigate whether the students will understand the meaning more easily with the use of stories.

7. Methodology
Participants – Fifteen Level 1 pupils between 7 to 9 year old will be participating in this study. They are chosen because I teach some of these classes and have observed their interest in stories. The number of participants cannot be increased because this is a small school and fifteen is the total number of level one students in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Fraser. This study will be conducted during one of their ESL lessons the school. The pupils will be divided into a control group and an experimental group.
I will be carrying out a pre-test to determine the number of words from the story that the pupils are familiar with. The pupils will be given a list of words where they circle the words that they are familiar with. Then, individually, the pupils explain what they understand about the words they circled previously. This will reflect their understanding of the meaning of the word.
Next, the control group will be taught the words with an accompanying visual aid. Meanwhile, the experimental group will be told the story interactively with the same visual aids.
After that, the pupils will be given the same word list where they circle the words they are familiar with. This will determine whether they know the words which will help to achieve the first objective of the study. Finally, the pupils will explain the meaning individually, which will help to achieve the second objective of the study.

8. Analysing the Data
The data will be collected separately for the two groups, to be calculated. The mean increment and median for both groups will found out in order to be compared. Thus, a conclusion will be derived based on the respective results.

9. Discussion
If the mean and median for the treatment group is higher than the control group, it could be interpreted that stories are more effective in vocabulary acquisition. If the mean and median for both groups are same, it could be interpreted that stories do not have any effect on the vocabulary acquisition. The assumptions and interpretations will be discussed in detail in the final research paper.

10. Limitations and delimitations of the study
This study is limited because the participants are very few. Thus, the results may not be feasibly applicable to other groups of students. Moreover, the time constraint of the semester requires less time than may be ideal for this study. By carrying out this study within two or three weeks, I may not be able to determine the long term effect of the use of stories among these children. Apart from that, this study is also focused in a small school in a rural area where English is not only a second language but at times considered a totally foreign language. The results of this study may not apply to other students from different environments.
However, being the teacher for some of the participants, I may have the advantage of being able to interpret their non-verbal language, knowing their previous knowledge and choosing a story adequate their interest.

11. Conclusion
With many advanced digital techniques of delivering a story, the traditional oral storytelling may appear feeble. However, it is not to be underestimated as it could be the most appropriate way for a rural school with minimal technological facilities. The findings from this study will serve to determine the aptness of storytelling in this setting. It may also lead to more studies to find a better method for vocabulary acquisition if the findings of this study prove the ineffectiveness of storytelling or may lead other studies to improve the story telling methods for increased acquisition of vocabulary. On the other hand, if storytelling proves to be a success in the vocabulary acquisition among the participants, this may lead to other researches so as to determine its validity in other setting.


12. References
Books
Lightbown, P. M. and Spada, N. 2008. How Languages Are Learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Journal Articles
Abbott, M. L. Nicholas, B. J., & Rossiter, M. J. (2011). The power of story in the ESL classroom. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 67(2), 247-268.
Cain, K. , Oakhill, J. , & Elbro, C. (2003). The ability to learn new word meanings from context by school-age children with and without language comprehension difficulties. Journal of Child Language, 30(3), 681-694.
Dracup, M. (January 01, 2008). Role Play in Blended Learning: A Case Study Exploring the Impact of Story and Other Elements. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24, 3, 294-310.
Graziano-King, J., & Cairns, H. (2006). Acquisition of English comparative adjectives. Educational Administration Abstracts, 41,( 1), 345-373.
Hodgson, C. (2007). ‘Assessing oracy: storytelling’, Literacy Today, 53, 24-25.
Isbell, R., Sobol, J., Lindauer, L., & Lowrance, A. (January 01, 2004). The Effects of Storytelling and Story Reading on the Oral Language Complexity and Story Comprehension of Young Children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 32(3), 157-163.
Schneider, P., & Dube, R. V. (February 01, 2005). Story Presentation Effects on Children’s Retell Content. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(1), 52-60.
Steward, J. A. & Santiago, K. A. (2006). Using literary text to engage language learners in a multilingual community. Foreign Language Annals, 39(4), 683-696.
Tavıl, Z. M. & Söylemez, A. S. (2008). Vocabulary teaching through storytelling to very young learners in kindergartens. Ekev Academic Review, 12(35), 371.
Tekmen, E. A. F., & Daloglu, A. (September 06, 2006). An Investigation of Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition in Relation to Learner Proficiency Level and Word Frequency. Foreign Language Annals, 39, 2, 220-243.
Winer, Y. (2005). Storytelling abroad. Every Child. 11 (2), 26-27.
Wright, H. H., Fergadiotis, G., Capilouto, G. J., & Srinivasan, C. (June 01, 2011). Story processing ability in cognitively healthy younger and older adults. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54, 3, 900-917.

12. Nurasma binti Somad - October 28, 2011

Research Topic: Using songs to accelerate vocabularies among ESL learners in Malaysia Primary School.

1) Introduction
Various studies demonstrate that learning language with songs has positive influence on children’s overall academic achievements. Using songs to practice vocabulary has been a great repertoire chosen by most teachers around the world to teach English as a second language and a useful way to improve children’s language skills (Baleghizadeh & Darhagi, 2010). Previous studies made by researches within the field of education and other closely related discipline found out that songs and language learning do have connection that rhyme together to ‘improve’ the pupils’ vocabulary (Legg, 2009). However, Racette & Peretz (2007) argue that learning verbal materials through song will not facilitate word recall as the text and the melody of a song have separate representations in brain’s memory. In contrary, the ultimate goal of learning English language in Malaysia is basically exam-oriented and singing songs to practice vocabulary seemed to be neglected days by days. As a consequent, Malaysian schools are still facing the same old problem: The lack of vocabulary among ESL learners. And this serious problem is still happening in my school. As a matter of concern towards this problem, this research is made to find out whether song, employed as a teaching tool in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom, can help to accelerate pupils’ language learning. Specifically, this study is sets out to test whether learning words through the medium of song will improve the pupils’ ability to memorise vocabulary items in English. Therefore, this experimental study attempts to find out:
1) Do ESL learners able to acquire key vocabulary items from the song?
2) Is using song able to accelerate the ESL learners’ numbers of vocabulary?

2) Background of the study
Fortunately, the Malaysian government realised that previous curriculum is not designed to achieve desired standards and to produce competent language users. Currently, they are introducing KSSR (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah) which the emphasis is on Lower Primary Level (Year 1 to 3), ‘Language Arts’ has been recognized as an essential component to be taught after listening and speaking, reading and writing skills. Along with this, using songs is believed to be one of the famous techniques in ‘Language Arts’ to introduce new vocabulary to the pupils. And in line with this new emergent curriculum, I will take this opportunity to use songs in my study to overcome the problem which is the lack of vocabulary among ESL pupils. The lack of vocabulary among ESL pupils is a vivid problem found in my school and it gets worsen each day as the pupils show a slow performance and reputation towards English language. This problem not only worries me but also to the rest of English teachers in my school. Somehow, this problem will affect the whole system of English language because the need to read, write, listen and speak is vocabulary. Which, in my opinion, if this problem still prolongs, at the end of the Year 6 schooling, the pupils are still unable to use the English language communicatively and effectively. In fact, there are some Year 6 pupils who do not know familiar words like “read” and “watch”. Hence, this problem leads me to this research as I believe that the pupils should have ‘an emotional engagement with the language (through songs) as to nourish their capacity for using language imaginatively and expressively’ (Baleghizadeh & Darhagi, 2010) in order to allow the process of language acquisition happens unconsciously and as a result, this will accelerate the language learning.

3) Methodology
The proposed method in the study is an experimental study. In this study, participants will be experimented through some tests, and the data will be collected and analyzed after the tests been carried out.
a) Sample
This study will take place in Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Sekinchan, Selangor and 5 pupils will be recruited in this study. The participants are Year 1 pupils (7 years old) from 1 Delima (second class). The rationale of selecting the pupils is because they are showing a very weak performance on the final year test specifically in term of vocabulary.
b) Equipments
The equipments used in this study are a song (with the accompaniment of music), the lyrics of the song (one is presented with full words and another one is presented in the form of task sheet which is with blanks) and a timer. The selected song is ‘Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes’. The justifications of choosing this song is because it is a simple song, interesting, easy to memorise and it is presented in the Year 1 textbook. And the song is focusing on one single lexical category: noun (parts of a body) which easier for pupils to distinguish and remember the specific vocabulary required from the study. And the length of this song is short and this study can be carried out in a short period of time.
c) Instrument Used
The lyric of the songs with blanks will be the main instrument to collect data. The data is collected based on how many correct words do the participants gain from the songs. And each correct word with correct spelling will be given 3 marks and if not, no marks will be given.
d) Procedures
1. The participants are allocated in Media Room.
2. The participants are asked to read the lyric of ‘Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes’ song.
3. The participants are asked to listen to the song.
4. The teacher distributes Task Sheet 1 and asks the pupils to fill in the blanks with words that they can remember from the song within two minutes.
5. The teacher collects Task Sheet 1 and gives out Task Sheet 2 for the pupils.
6. The teacher asks the pupils to listen to the song again and fill in the blanks with the words that they can recall within two minutes.
7. Steps (5) and (6) are repeated until Task Sheet 5 is given out to the participants.

4) Predicted Results
Songs contain authentic language, provide vocabulary, repetition, fun, stress-free, rhyming words which are easy to obtain and memorize. And due to these elements, this study is predicted to produce a good result. On the other hands, if let say this study did not produce good results, further research could be carried out by modifying the methodology used in order to meet the main objective.

5) Discussions
There are few limitations and barriers found in this study. If Year 1 pupils are having problem with writing skills, this will enable them to complete the task within the allocated time (2 minutes). To deal with this, the teacher should carry out several trials in order to get the pupils familiar with writing skills to meet the requirements of the tasks. Another limitation is dealing with the pupils’ prior knowledge. Perhaps, some of the Year 1 pupils have zero knowledge/ schemata towards English words and they do not know what to write. To overcome this, the teacher should make known the pupils’ levels of proficiency before conducting the study and model what should they do before the tasks given. Another important element is, this study will play the songs for only five times in order to maintain the level of interest of the pupils and to keep the momentum going while study is conducted. This is to ensure that the pupils are not boring with the song and able to memorise the words in fun and relax way.

6) Recommendations for further research
This study is concerned on the acceleration of the ‘numbers’ of vocabulary by using songs and this means that this study is concentrated on the pupils’ ability to memorise the words found in the song but not to understand the meaning of the words. Therefore, further research could be conducted to measure the relationship between songs and words comprehension. More research can be done within this area.

7) References
1. Baleghizadeh, S., & Darhagi, Z. (2010) The effect of nursery rhymes on EFL children’s reading ability. New England Reading Association Journal, 46(1), 71-75
2. Fonseca-Mora, M.C., Toscano-Fuentes, C., & Wermke, K. (2011). Melodies that help: The Relation between Language Aptitude and Musical Intelligence. Anglistik International Journal of English Studies, 22(1),101-118
3. Hallam, S. (2010). The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education, 28, 269
4. Kouri, T., & Talendar, K. (2008). Children’s reading comprehension and narrative recall in sung and spoken story contexts. Children Language Teaching and Therapy, 24, 329
5. Legg, R. (2009). Using music to accelerate language learning: an experimental study. Research in Education : An Interdisciplinary International Research Journal, 82 (1), 1- 12.
6. Mizener, C. P. (2008). Enhancing language skills through music. General Music Today, 21, 11.
7. Moreno, S. Bialystok, E. Barac, R. Schellenberg, G. E. Cepeda, N. J & Chau, T. (2011). Short-Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence & Executive Function. Psychological Science.
8. Ogawa, Y., & Murao, T. (2007). The acquisition process of children’s game songs during peer teaching : A semi-structured experiment with pre-school children. Research Studies in Music Education
9. Racette, A., & Peretz, I. (2007). Learning Lyrics: To sing or not to sing? Memory & Cognition, 35 (2), 242-53
10. Rafiee, M., Kassaian, Z., & Dastjerdi, H. (2010). The application of humorous song in EFL classrooms and its effects on listening comprehension. English Language Teaching, 3(4), 100-108
11. Stadler, M., Watson, M., & Skahan, S. (2007) Rhyming and vocabulary: effects of lexical restructuring. Communications Disorders Quarterly, 28(4), 197-205
12. White, J.L., & Turner, C. E (2005) Comparing children’s oral ability in two ESL programs. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 61(4), 491 – 517

13. Princess Lina - October 28, 2011

NORAZLINA BINTI RAFI AHMAD
PGP 110020

Title:
Factors Contributing To Primary School Students Lack Of Interest To Speak English In ESL Class.

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study
What pupils learn outside the classroom, in their homes or though their friends is not within the control of their teacher. However, the skills, behaviours, attitudes and interests that are primarily learned through classroom instruction represent the school’s and teacher’s contribution to a pupil’s total education. The inculcation of the habits mentioned is crucial before we can finally say that we have educated our pupils. Skills, behaviours, attitudes and interest remain in the individual longer than any short-term memory serves them.

One classroom practice where skill, behaviours, attitudes and interests matter most lies in the crucial stage where students are assessed. It is at this stage that the students’ skills are challenged, their attitude and interest changes when the students have to speak in English. This study attempts to explore the factors that contribute into the lack of interests of primary school students in speaking English during ESL classroom.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Teachers spend a lot of time and effort to educate and to teach the English language to students but yet there are students whom are still not able to speak in English. The importance of English language has decreased among students especially students in primary school. Teachers spend a lot of their time teaching students how to speak, read and write but students are taking things easily as they think that English is just a second language thus it is not important for them to learn how to speak the language. The students feel that if they can just pass the exam, they should be fine. When the teacher would like to assess the student orally, they would not cooperate and tend to be silent all the time. In conclusion, the students may feel de-motivated and this could lead to failure.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of the study are:
1. To help students to understand the concept of learning how to speak English the correct way.
2. To ensure students are not afraid of speaking English with or without making mistakes not only during ESL classroom.

1.4 Research Questions

The research will attempt to answer these questions:
1. What beliefs do the students hold about English language learning?
2. Is attitude the reason for non-participatory in classroom?
3. Is lack of confidence the reason why students afraid to speak in English?
4. Is shyness the reason for students not speaking the language?

2. Literature review

Speaking and listening are probably the first skills that non-native speakers need when they come into contact with English, or any other foreign language. The fluent speaker usually looks confidently where he or she speaks but how about the non-fluent speakers. Speaking skills is one of the most important elements in learning English language and if young learners are not able to learn this skill, it is definitely be a major problem for the learners at a later part of their life.

According to Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin, that there are students who still not able to acquire or even comprehend the language even after eleven years of learning the language at primary school. This shows that further investigation needs to be done in order to find out what is the actual cause that contributes towards this problem.

According to Walkinshaw, learners are reluctant to use negative speech acts appropriately, especially when speaking to someone higher in power. Is this true? In order to find out, a thorough research will be done to find out why students will not speak during ESL classroom.

The humanism theory in speaking

The humanist theory of learning, placed great importance on affective and emotional factors and held the view that success in learning would occur only if the learning environment was right, the learners were interested in and had a positive attitude towards the new information. (Curran, 1976)
The significance of this theory in terms of language learning is that learners must have a favorable attitude towards the language, speakers of the language and teachers teaching the language. Teachers must develop the learners’ self-esteem and most importantly, the teacher’s role is to create a conducive, non-threatening environment where learners will feel comfortable so that they can experiment with the new language.

In speaking context, students who cannot speak English could be due to personal and other external factors. Not all students can directly speak in English after being taught to learn the second language as there are students whom are still reluctant to speak the language.

3. Methodology

Design
A qualitative approach is chosen to conduct the study. In order to obtain the relevant data, the study is divided into a number of stages. There are as follows:
i. Preliminary Stage:
The objective of this stage is to conduct an informal interview with students as individual and groups and also to record the interaction during ESL classroom using the video camera. A questionnaire will also be given to students to gather information.
ii. Exploratory Stage:
After the analysis of data gathered during the preliminary stage, the objective of this stage is to probe deeper into the issues that have emerged from the early stages.
iii. In-depth study:
With in-depth data from the exploratory stage and further analysis and interpretation of the data, a further in-depth study is conducted.

Subjects
The participants of the study were 65 students from two different classes, from a primary school in Rawang, Selangor. They compromised of 31 females and 34 males. They all have been studying English for the past 5 years.

4.Findings
In this study, I hope to expose the factors that contributes towards primary school students not speaking English during ESL classroom and to find solutions to overcome this problem.

References

1. Curran, C. (1976). Counseling-learning in second languages. Apple River, II: Apple River Press.
2. Bress, P. (2006). Speaking Skills: What are they and how can we teach them? Modern English Teacher, 15(4), 44-46.
3. Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin. (2008). The mastery of English language among lower secondary school students in Malaysia: A linguistic analysis. European Journal of Social Sciences, 7 (2), 1-14. Retrieved 8 October 2011, from http://www.eurojournals.com/ejss_7_2_08.pdf
4. Walkinshaw, I. (2006). Get negative, positively: Learning and rehearsing negative speech acts in class. Modern English Teacher, 15(4), 34-38

14. Lee Huan Yik - October 28, 2011

Research Topic: Improving oral reading fluency through repeated reading programme among Malaysian primary school ESL learners

Introduction
Reading has been a favourite pastime for many even in today’s digital and informative age of ICT. Reading connected text fluently is an essential, life-long skill that all students must master in order to be successful not only in academics, but also in everyday life (Yo, Cooke & Starling, 2011)

Major Issues and Sub-problems
Some pupils have difficulties in reading as they find it tough to master the word recognition and phoneme-blending skills needed to be fluent in oral reading. Mother tongue interference is another major issue in the area of oral reading. Based my personal experience both as a learner and a teacher, some young pupils tend to read according to the sounds that they are familiar with in L1 (Malay language). Reading words with accuracy and efficiency taps language-processing and vocabulary skills; working memory for text reading is related to prior familiarity with the words and structures learnt or acquired, for example in their L1(Lesaux, & Kieffer, 2010).

Statement of the Problem:
This Paper aims to study the effects of using a repeated reading programme to improve oral reading fluency of lower primary pupils thus not taking into context of reading comprehension. The emphasis of oral reading fluency will be on identifying the phonemes (word recognition), blending the phonemes into meaningful words and reading with the correct pronunciation.

Rationale for the Study
This study is worth exploring because Year 1 pupils need to have a good grasp of oral reading fluency before advancing to Year 2. This is based on the suggestion that students need to develop sufficient fluency in order to focus attention on reading comprehension later (Fuchs et al., 2001; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974 as cited in Yo, Cooke & Starling, 2011).

Hypothesis:
The repeated reading programme improves English language oral reading fluency among below-average Year 1 pupils. In a longer span of time, its effectiveness will be evident and these elected pupils will obtain the ORF level of an average Year 1 pupil through intensive tutoring and monitoring in a small-group setting.

Limitation and boundaries:
The results of the research study cannot be generalized for the whole population of primary school young learners in Malaysia. This study will be conducted during the last month of the school year, thus limiting the number of sessions available for intervention which in turn may affect the results and its effectiveness in improving Oral reading Fluency.

Definition of Key Terms:
i) Repeated reading programme
Repeated reading typically involves a student rereading a specific passage out loud multiple times to a teacher or peer tutor. One goal of repeated reading is for the student to reach a predetermined criterion of words read correctly during a 1-min trial.
ii) Oral Reading fluency
Oral reading fluency can be defined as translating written text into an oral output with speed and accuracy (Speece & Ritchey, 2005 in Wise, Sevcik, Morris, Lovett et al, 2010). Most measures of oral reading fluency, therefore, contain two important components of reading fluency: accuracy and automaticity. (Wise, Sevcik, Morris, Lovett et al, 2010).

Literature Review:
Research on repeated reading spanning decades and numerous studies demonstrates successful outcomes (e.g., Daly & Martens, 1994; Levy et al., 1997; O’Shea, Sindelar, & O’Shea, 1987; Strong, Wehby, Falk, & Lane, 2004 in Yo, Cooke & Starling, 2011), this practice holds great promise as a strategy for improving reading fluency. However, as suggested by Chard and colleagues (2009 in Yo, Cooke & Starling, 2011), the current research literature on repeated reading is not sufficient for it to be recommended as an evidence-based practice.
Kuhn and Stahl (2003 in Benjamin& Schwanenflugel, 2010) conclude that prosody may provide the link between fluent oral reading and comprehension. They suggest that, unlike rate and accuracy, appropriate phrasing, intonation, and stress provide a clue that the reader is comprehending. For the purpose of this research, rate and accuracy are combined to yield a metric of wcpm to measure oral reading fluency; expression and prosody are not directly assessed.
Children learn to read by reading. As children experience success with specific texts, they most often want to repeat the experience, which provides meaningful, purposeful practice that leads to a favourable view of reading (Cullinan, 1992; Gambrell, 1996; Opitz, 1995; Watson, 1997 cited in Ford & Opitz, 2011). In a separate study, Fountas and Pinnell (1996 cited in Ford & Opitz, 2011) suggest guided reading as a classroom-based practice that would provide good first teaching for all children and this might reduce the number of children who would need intervention programs away from the classrooms.

Research Questions
1) To what extent would the repeated reading programme increase the participants’ oral reading fluency on the chosen first grade books?
2) Is the repeated reading programme effective in showing results in a two-week experimental research study?

Methodology
Sample of the study
The research will be conducted on ten year 1 pupils, 2 boys and 2 girls from from 1 Arif according to their low scores in their literacy test results and teacher’s observations. Labis primary school in Segamat, Johor is situated in a semi-urban, 100% Malay ethnicity setting.

Proposed method:
This research will attempt to measure oral reading fluency using experimental research method in which the four pupils are constantly monitored and their progress assessed after each reading. Their progress is compared with their previous readings. Intervention programmes are designed according to their level of progress.

Equipment Used
All books (fictional-short story books) chosen have short texts, clear, big and dark fonts with colourful picture illustrations. Pupils can relate to the pictures in the books for meaning and keep them on-task.
Instrument used
The Correct Words per Minute model (CWPM) adapted from (Lo, Cooke& Starling 2011) will be used for this study. The total number of words read correctly during each 1-minute time trial is recorded for data analysis. Words are excluded from the correct total if they are mispronounced, self-corrected after 3 s, omitted, or were read in incorrect word order. The dependent variable is the texts used.

Procedures
1) Initial timed text reading
2) Performance feedback and error correction
3) Error word or sight word practice
4) Participants read for three more times (Assessment)
5) Progress to the next level (new books with slightly higher vocabulary)

Predicted Results:
The level of the focused group pupils are on par with the average learners in the classroom after a 2-week repeated reading programme.

Recommendations for further research
Further research could be conducted to measure the relationship between prosody as part of oral reading fluency development and text comprehension. More research can be done to find out the relationship between pupils’ oral reading fluency with their comprehension of the texts read.

Reference List
Benjamin, R. G. and Schwanenflugel, P. J. (2010), Text complexity and oral reading prosody
in young readers. Reading Research Quarterly, Vol. 45, (4) 388- Retrieved October 10, 2011 from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20779538

Ford, M., & Opitz, M.. (2011). Looking back to move forward with guided reading.
Reading Horizons, 50(4), 225-240. Retrieved October 11, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals.
http://ezproxy.um.edu.my:2110/pqdweb?index=7&did=2302650221&SrchMode=1&sid=19&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1318255000&clientId=18803

Lesaux, N. K.; Kieffer, M. J. (2010) Exploring sources of reading comprehension
difficulties among language minority learners and their classmates in early adolescence. American Educational Research Journal 47(3), 596-632.
Retrieved October 8, 2011 from http://ezproxy.um.edu.my:2786/content/47/3/596.full

Lo, Y., Cooke, N., & Starling, A. (2011). Using a repeated reading program to
improve generalization of oral reading fluency. Journal of Education & Treatment of Children, 34(1), 115-140. Retrieved October 11, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals http://ezproxy.um.edu.my:2110/pqdweb?index=8&did=2298722431&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1318324284&clientId=18803

Wise, J., Sevcik, R., Morris, R., Lovett, M., Wolf, M., Kuhn, M., Meisinger, B., &
Schwanenflugel, P. (2010). The relationship between different measures of oral reading fluency and reading comprehension in second-grade students. Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools (Online), 41(3), 340-348. Retrieved October 11, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals
http://ezproxy.um.edu.my:2110/pqdweb?index=28&did=2144022701&SrchMode=1&sid=14&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1318253845&clientId=18803

Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - October 28, 2011

Cassandra Jothi Krishnan
PGP110022

Enhancing vocabulary through vocabulary learning strategies among ESL diploma students.

Introduction

Individual equip with a wide range of vocabulary serve as a better reader which can correlate positively between own language proficiency with vocabulary knowledge compare to those with little vocabulary knowledge. (Mehrpour, 2008 ; Luppescu & Day, 1993). Wide vocabulary knowledge is important to every individual even in Malaysia where English is needed and being used widely. The importance to know English vocabulary can be linked to the Malaysian Government Policy that has implemented Science and Mathematics to be taught in English in primary and secondary schools. Meanwhile, English is used as a medium of instruction in the tertiary level. Despite of such situation, many learners fail to see the importance of learning and acquiring vocabulary in regards to their comprehension ability in reading. According to Curtis (1987;48) as cited in (Jun & Suaini, 2008), said that learners’ vocabulary knowledge base may affect their successfulness in the act of comprehending reading text. Learners with insufficient vocabulary will find it difficult to comprehend reading text and unable to use reading as a platform for acquiring new vocabulary.
Many factors have contributed to the problems that students faced in their reading process. The researcher found that one of the leading problems to students’ difficulty in comprehending is that they have insufficient English vocabulary. In a survey conducted on students’ vocabulary performance of secondary year 4 Normal Academic Course students in one of the school in Singapore, where students are given Vocabulary Level Test. The finding indicated that students did not understand the passage they read because they did not know the word in the passage. (Jun & Suaini, 2008). Besides that, students’ have different schemata from the text is another problem that affect their comprehension ability. According to Singhal (1998) in Iwai (2010), students who have different cultural schemata on an English reading text tend to find it difficult to comprehend the text. Many vocabulary learning strategies have been studied and proposed by researchers in regards to the relationship between student’s vocabulary command ability to comprehend English reading text such as DASH method (Shieh & Freiermuth, 2010), CALL method (Constantinesu, 2007) and Synthesizing process (Lu, 2008) just to name a few. Due to that, vocabulary learning strategies are an integral part of learners in learning vocabulary therefore learners need to be exposed to the strategies which can help them in better understanding the text. (Ghazal, 2007).
This study is designed to answer the following questions: (1) Why do learning vocabulary learning strategies useful to students in enhancing their vocabulary knowledge? (2) How effective are vocabulary learning strategies to students in comprehending and answering comprehension reading text? (3) To what extent does background knowledge help students in comprehending reading text? Whereas, the purpose of this study is to answer the stated research questions: (1) To investigate the usefulness of learning vocabulary strategies to students in enhancing their vocabulary knowledge. (2) To experiment the effectiveness of vocabulary learning strategies to students in comprehending and answering reading text. (3) To determine the extent of background knowledge in helping students to understand the reading text.
The researcher will be guided more specifically by a theoretical framework proposed by Schmitts (1997) and Gu & Johnson (1996) which are determination, social, memory, cognitive, metacognitive and activation strategies.

Literature Review

Successful comprehension of a given text is said depending on the knowledge of one’s word meanings. (Koda, 2007). In a different study conducted on vocabulary focused activities (Hui, 2008) concluded that students who received reading and vocabulary enhancement instruction did better than those didn’t get the same treatment. Rotts (1999) as cited in Hui, 2008, notified that level of vocabulary increases if students were to be given enhanced reading conditions. However, insufficient vocabulary knowledge can be compensated by using dictionary to find the meaning for unknown words. The usage of dictionary proves to be of great benefits to readers of different proficiency level. (Shieh & Freiermuth, 2010).

Methodology

Participant

Samples participating in this experiment will be 30 low intermediate Malaysian students who are taking English subject in one of the private college in Selangor.

Instruments

The instruments which will be used in the study are two English comprehension reading texts which are not from the students’ cultural background. These reading texts are divided into two parts where part A is the reading text and part B is the multiple choices questions. Another instrument which will be used is the list of difficult words. There will be 10 words and definitions picked out from the second reading text which are difficult for the students. The final instrument is the interviewing the participants. The interview will focus on participants perception before and after using the vocabulary learning strategies and background knowledge.

Procedures

A mix method approach will be used in carrying out the activities. One of the lecturers whom teaches the participants English will conduct the lesson using the researcher’s material which she has device. The researcher will be all throughout the lesson from the back of the class. All participants are given to two reading texts. The first reading text are given where students are ask to answer without any explanation on the content of the text and also without the use of vocabulary strategies such as, dictionary, cooperative group discussion or asking the lecturer in charge. (Pre-test). Once the texts have all been collected, students are given another set of text where explanation on the content of the text is provided by the lecturer in charge of the class to activate their background knowledge. Besides that, participants are allowed to use the dictionary, discuss in a group or even ask the lecturer for the meaning of any unfamiliar words encountered. (Post-test). Observation on students will be done for both pre-test and pro-test by the researcher. Then, once the texts have all been collected for data analysis, participants are given a list of 10 difficult words with 3 definitions each where only 1 definition is correct. Participants are not allowed to refer to the dictionary, discuss in a group or ask help from the lecturer as this is to test participants’ schemata activation strategies. Finally, the researcher will conduct an unstructured open-ended interview session with the participants. However, only selected participants will be interviewed.

Data Analysis

All the instruments used to carry out this research will be calculated using the statistical package for social science (SPSS) tool as it is the main method used for processing data. As for observation, the researcher will prepare an observation checklist. Appropriate open-ended questions for the interview purpose will be devised and analyze to get the findings.

Predicted Findings

The researcher is hoping to find feasible solutions to the research problems and also the research questions. The researcher hopes that by providing background knowledge of the content of the texts, students will find it easier to understand the underlying meaning of the text. Besides that, the researcher is also hoping that students will find it beneficial to learn vocabulary learning strategies which will be a major help to them in detecting difficult words and finding the meaning of those words, so that they can answer multiple choices questions asked.

References

Constantinescu, A. I. (2007). Using technology to assist in vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. The Internet Tesl Journal. Retrieved 6 October 2011 from
http://itwslj.org/Articles/Constantiescu-Vocabulary.html
Ghazal, L. (2007). Learning Vocabulary in EFL contexts through vocabulary learning strategies. Novitas Royal. 1(2), 84-91. Retrieved 19 October 2011 from
http://novitasroyal.org/Ghazal.pdf
Hui, T. M. (2008) EFL vocabulary acquisition and retention: Reading plus vocabulary enhancement activities and narrow reading. Language Learning. 58(1), 73-115.
Iwai, Y. (2010). Re-envisioning reading comprehension for English language learners. The Internet Tesl Journal. Retrieved 6 October 2011 from
http://iteslj.org/Articles/Iwai-Reading.html
Jun, L. Z., & Suaini Annual (2008). The role of vocabulary in reading comprehension. SAGE Publications. 38(1), 51-76
Koda, K. (2007). Reading and language learning cross linguistic constraints on second language reading development. Language Learning. 57(1),1-44.
Lu, F.L. (2008). The study of English learners’ synthesizing process while reading. Asian EFL Journal, 10 (1). Retrieved 9 October 2011 from
http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/March_08_lfl.php
Mehrpour, S. (2008). A comparison of the effects of two vocabulary teaching techniques. Asian EFL Journal, 10(2). Retrieved 9 October 2011, from
http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/June_08_sm.php
Shieh, W. & Freiermuth, M. R, (2010). Using the DASH Method to measure reading comprehension. Tesol Quarterly. 44(1), 110-127

15. PREMALATHA P.CHELLADORAI - October 28, 2011

Name : Premalatha P.Chelladorai
ID NO.: PGP 110028
PBGS 6113 – RESEARCH IN SLA
1. Introducion
1.1 Introduction
Language is used by all, native or non-native users, in various social contexts, whether in a formal situation such as in a business dialogues or in an informal situation such as in the market place or at home. It is a wonderful gift given by GOD to humanity which without it, there would have been no communication between fellow human beings.
Here in Malaysia, Bahasa Melayu, being the national language, is used thoroughly, regardless of speech competency of the students involved and has become the medium of instruction in schools and institutions. However, English is still the second most important language. English plays a dominating role in every aspect of life and moving towards the global world, English has become the official language of business, scientific, technical and economical progress as well as cross-border communication. (Premavathy, 2002)
Our former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has once said that, “Our good foundation in English helped us to communicate with our friends, especially the new ones. Language became a tool that brought us together.” (The Star, 7 September 2005)
The current emphasis on the competence in English has therefore created a real challenge for educators, especially language teachers and lecturers to improve the competency and proficiency level of al students.

1.2 Background of study
In this contemporary world, a handful of international languages have dominated communication with English being one of it. The Malaysian Education system emphasizes the four basic skills that are listening, speaking, reading and writing however emphasizing on the listening and speaking skills. Students are taught to communicate with certain people, for certain purposes, in certain roles and in certain situation. In order to achieve this purpose, it is important to impart the awareness of the importance of oral participation basically their response in an oral communication.
1.3 Statement of problem
Second language learning has become under close scrutiny ever since the world began to advance technologically and international communication has become a must. (Janagamal, 1989) In Malaysia, English is taught as a functional second language while Bahasa Melayu is taught as a compulsory subject. (Education in Malaysia, 1989)
Though six years of primary education has exposed students to English, there is evidence that shows that, these students lack oral skills. They may, however, be literate as the aims of KBSR, which emphasis on the 3’R’s namely reading, writing and arithmetic; there is a neglect of the oral skills especially in a conversation which is vital in daily life. It is hoped that the findings of this research may help to give suggestions and recommendations on improving the oral skills among the Form 1 KKQ (Religious) class students.
1.4 Aims of study
This research is aimed to find out on why students do not answer questions asked orally immediately during an English lesson. It will look at the reasons for their hindrance. The research will record the lesson and give questionnaires to students. It is hoped to gain valuable insights in building the students’ confidence in using the language and to advocate certain remedies to solve this problem or at least lessen the severity of the problem.
1.5 Research objectives
The research is done to help the students in a KKQ (Religious) class to gain their self confidence in participating in a questions and answer session during an English lesson and as a guide line to teachers in handling the subject matter. The research objectives are:
i) To find out the reasons of students hindrance in participating in an question and answer session during their English lesson
ii) To determine the teachers role in motivating the students to participate in an question and answer session during an English lesson.
1.6 Research questions
The research will seek questions to the following questions:
i) What are the reasons for the hindrance?
ii) How to overcome the hindrance?
1.7 Limitation of the study
This survey is based on one particular school, it should not be taken as representative of the entire population of form 1 KKQ (Religious) class students in the country. However the findings can be used to represent a large extent.

1.8 Scope of study
Since the use of language is seen as a social activity, the concept of ‘communicative competence’, that is knowing what to say, to whom, and how to say it appropriately was seen as an important element of teaching a language (Saville-Troilce 1985).
2. Review of Literature
2.1 Introduction
The first part of this session deals with the education system. Secondly it will discuss some of the theories related to oral communication. Thirdly it will discuss on classroom questioning.
Oral skills both speaking and listening are at the very foundation of literacy. Classroom talk helps students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge and understanding (Think Literacy). Communication Theory has one universal law posited by S. F. Scudder (1980). The Universal Communication Law states that, “All living entities, beings and creatures communicate.” Every living thing communicates through movements or sounds. Learning to communicate and express opinions is an important goal in itself, for it equips students with a set of skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
Speaking is the mode of communication most often used to express opinions, make arguments, offer explanations, transmit information, and make impressions upon others. Students need to speak well in their personal lives, future workplaces, social interactions, and political endeavors. If basic instruction and opportunities to practice speaking are available, students position themselves to accomplish a wide range of goals and be useful members of their communities (http://www.com.uri.edu/comfund/cxc.shtml). Therefore, this study is to help both students and teachers to create an interactive classroom.
3. Methodology
3.1 The sample
The samples that have been taken into consideration consists of 35 form 1 KKQ (Religious) class students of SMK Seri Bintang Utara . The primary education of these samples are from National Primary School and they are from different background.
3.2 The instrument
To meet the purpose of this study, a qualitative research design will be utilized. The researcher will record a 80 minute classroom lesson and analyse the situation of the classroom and distribute a questionnaire to gather information of the students’ background and their basic knowledge of English. In analyzing the data, the numbers and the results are calculated in percentage form and presented in form of tables. By using tables, results are clearly stated and explanations are stated below the table on the next chapter to help understand the table.
Findings
It is hoped that this study, though small, will be able to create awareness to students and language educators to address the importance of English Language proficiency at an early stage.

Reference
Premavathy a/p N.Gurusamy. Jurnal Pendidikan Guru Bil.17 2004/2005 ISSN 0127-7316, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia.
Education Jurnal In Malaysia. 1989. Education Planning and Strategic Information, Research Development (SIRI)
Brown,H.D. 1994. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. San Francisco:Prentice Hall Regents
Brown,Gillian, Karen L. Currie, and Joanne Kenworthy. 1980. Questions of intonation. London:Croom Helm
The Star, 7 September 2005. Mastering the English Language.
http://esp-world.info/Articles_27/Paper.pdf
http://www.com.uri.edu/comfund/cxc.shtml

16. SHARILA CHRISTIE - October 29, 2011

Dear Dr. Jessie I resubmit my proposal as I elaborate more on the methodology part compare to the first proposal which I submitted yesterday. Thank you.

NAME : SHARILA CHRISTIE
MATRIC NO: PGP 110003
DATE: 28/10/2011
TASK 2: PROPOSAL
TOPIC : SELF- ASSESSMENT IN WRITING: DEVELOPING
ESL LEARNERS RESPONSIBILITY TO ENHANCE
WRITING THROUGH SUCCESS CRITERIA.

1. Introduction
In the Malaysia context, most people find writing as a difficult language skill. It is also the skill most students are least proficient in (Nesamalar, Saratha & The, 2001, p. 141). Teachers in school are very much concerned about improving students’ writing ability as writing is frequently tested in the major examinations. However, although teachable, the transformation of thoughts into written communication is a difficult activity in which many levels of complementary skills are required (Scott, 2003, p. 220, as cited in Nor Shidrah, 2007). Therefore, there is a need for teachers to seek alternatives to help students in writing. A review of literature (Charles, 1990; Wang 2004) suggests that self-assessment can be one of the possible solutions to improve students’ writing. There are several methods in self-assessment (AAIA, 2002) and one of them is the use of success criteria. Success criteria are defined as a reminder of steps or ingredients which either must be used or could help children achieve learning objectives. Once children have access to the success criteria, they have a framework for a formative dialogue with their peers or teachers. This enables them to ensure appropriate focus, clarify understanding, identify success, determine difficulties, discuss strategies for improvement and reflect on the overall process (Clark, 2005, p.37)

2. Statement Of Problem
I am teaching English for standard 4, 5 and 6 in SJK(C) Puay Chai 2. My research sample would be a group of Year 4 students in SJK(C) Puay Chai 2. The students are generally above average students. However, as to be expected, even though the students are generally above average in their English proficiency, they still have problems in writing. In the mid-year examination, the students marks dropped significantly compare to their first examination. After analysing the scores and conducting a short interview with my English teachers in the school, it was found that most of the students are still struggling with answering the English Paper (2) note expansion or short essay question. Therefore, my problem for this class was to find ways to help the students to enhance their writing skills.

3. Research Questions
The objective of the study was to determine if the use of success criteria can help students to enhance their writing skill. Throughout the study, there would be one question guided me. The question is ‘Can the use of success criteria help my students to enhance their English note expansion or short essay writing. In terms of enhancement, I will be looking at whether the students’ marks in their short essay has improved.

4. Methodology ( research design & instrument chosen)

4.1 Introduction Of success criteria
To introduce success, firstly, I give students a few examples of exemplary essays. Secondly, I would questioned them whether they like the essays and what they think about the essays. Then, I ask them to identify what they like about the essays. Next, the students and the teacher would define the success criteria. By defining the success criteria, I make students aware explicitly as to what constitutes a good essay and the elements they need to include in their essays. The success criteria that I would come out with are as below:
4.1.1 Use powerful adjectives and adverbs
4.1.2 Use a variety of sentences
4.1.3 Check grammar (subject verb agreement/ tenses & etc.)
4.1.4 Check punctuation (full stops, commas, capital letters)
4.1.5 Match the writing with the pictures
4.1.6 Give specific examples
4.1.7 Provide background information
4.1.8 Use idiomatic expressions

4.2 Displaying the success criteria
A poster of the success criteria will be made and pasted in the classroom. In addition, individual list of success criteria will be printed out for students and pasted on the cover page of their exercise books. Whenever there is a writing task, students are reminded to refer to the success criteria.

4.3 Exercises on individual success criterion
Once the success criteria are determined, I ensure that students are aware of what they need to do to achieve them. I give the students exercises on the individual criterion to help them strengthen their concepts towards the criterion.
In terms of grammar, initially I introduce the rules explicitly on Subject-Verb-Agreement (SVA) and the simple, compound and complex sentences would be helpful. However, if the students are bored and exhausted as they understand the rules therefore, in my follow up activities, I would include songs, games and interesting activities for students to practise SVA and write a variety of sentences. Even when students are reading a passage or text, I could question them and make them aware of those two items.

4.4 Use of model essays to help the students understand the success criteria
Students can only meet the assessment criteria and perform well if teachers discuss the criteria with students using comprehensible terms and provide examples of how the criteria can be met in practice. Hence, I would adopt the concept of modelling using exemplars.
Before the students start to write, I provide scaffolding by brainstorming with them words and sentence structures that they could use in the essay. Besides, the whole class would brainstorm some specific examples or backgrounds information that could be included in the essay. Once the students had finished, they are asked to compare their work with the model using success criteria. Then, modification and alteration would be done to the essay.

4.5 Reinforcement and reminders
I would use reminders such as “Check in your essay, whether you have met all the success criteria’, ‘Check whether you need to add ‘s’ or ‘es’ in your verbs’, ‘Make sure you end every sentence with a full stop, ‘What can you add on to this so that the reader will understand your story better?’, ‘Have you include powerful adjectives and adverbs?’, ‘Can you give me specific examples in this part?’ to remind students about the success criteria in their writing. These questions and reminders actually helped students to be aware of what they need to do to make their writing better.

4.6 Marking of own essay against success criteria
In order to involve students actively in learning, asking students to check their own work against the success criteria involves self-assessment. During the intervention, I give a task to students which require them to give own writing a mark based on model essay that has full marks. Then, I would ask them to look through their own writing, check the success criteria and give their own essay a mark. After I had evaluated their essay, I would award them a mark. Next, students are asked to compare both the marks.

4.7 Data collection
My data would be gathered from a Pre-Test and a Post-Test, a retrospective post-then-pre questionnaire, my observation during lessons, through marking of students’ work and also informal conferences with English teachers.
4.7.1 Pre-test and Post-test
4.7.2 Retrospective Post-Then-Pre Questionnaire

5. References

AAIA. (2002). Self-assessment booklet. Retrieved August 14, 2010 from http://www.aaia.org.uk/pdf//AAIAformat4.pdf

Assessment Reform Group. (2002). Assessment for learning: Ten principles. Retrieved August 23, 2010 from http://www.assessment-reform-group.org.uk

Black, P. & William, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. London: King’s College School of Education.

Charles, M. (1990). Responding to problems in written English using a student self-monitoring technique. ELT Journal, 44 (4), 286-293.

Clarke, S. (2005). Formative assessment in action: Weaving the elements together. London: Hodder Murray.

Nesamalar Chitravelu, Saratha Sithamparam & S. C. The (2001). ELT Methodology: Principles and practice. Penerbit Fajar Bakti: Selangor.

Nor Shidrah binti Mat Daud (2007). ESL writing: Problems in editing.

Popular E-Learning Holdings. (2005). The creative pen: An interactive narrative writing programme. Singapore: EPH.

Pulh, C. (1997). Develop not judge: Continuous assessment in the ESL classroom. English Teaching Forum, (April), 2-15.

Ranjit Jill Gill. (2007). Improving The Quality of course evaluation with the retrospective post-then-pre questionnaire.

Wang, X. (2004). Encouraging self-monitoring in writing by Chinese students. ELT Journal 58(3), 238-246.

17. Connie SIm Siew Yung (PGP110021) - October 29, 2011

Title: Influence of the Teacher’s Linguistic Choices on Young ESL Learners’ Vocabulary Learning and Retention in the Malaysian Classroom

Introduction
The study which will be conducted is to investigate the effects of the language used by the teacher in the Malaysian ESL classroom particularly in the pupils’ learning and retention of vocabulary. It has been a longstanding orthodoxy for language teachers to avoid all use or at least to use the learners’ native language as little as possible in the ESL classroom. This study aims to determine whether the language used actually affects the pupils’ vocabulary learning and storage of the new vocabulary.

Statement of Problem
In a Year 2 classroom, it is usually observed that majority of the pupils were either very passive or uninterested in participating whenever lessons were conducted solely in the L2. This could be probably due to the fact that the pupils were too afraid of making mistakes when trying to participate or they might be too ignorant about the language to understand the ongoing lesson. Thus, it is unknowing whether this scenario actually impacts on the pupils’ learning of the new words and their ability to retain the words. It is predicted that lessons conducted in the pupils’ L1 will be more effective in realising the lessons’ objectives.

Literature Review
Foreign language teaching and learning environments are potentially multilingual, for in addition to the target language they can also include the linguistic repertoire of both the learners and teacher (Blyth, 2003). The question is whether the learners’ native language, a part of their linguistic repertoire, should be sanctioned as a method for the teaching of ESL and if so, under what circumstances.
It has always been a teacher’s dilemma, the language to be used in the classroom to teach ESL, especially for young learners as their limited word bank in the target language could be an obstruction for them to acquire the new words taught; thus, their inability to permanently store the words learnt. Research conducted suggested that learners need to know 98 to 99% of lexical items in written or spoken discourse in order to understand the language (Hu & Nation, 2000). This coverage would mean that one word in fifty is unknown, making comprehension a daunting task (Carver, 1994). On the contrary, this does not take into account other aspects of conversation that learners could rely on: the speaker’s use of gesture and intonation as well as learner’s enthusiasm to engage in learning actively over a long period of time.
Vygotsky (1986) has argued the L2 acquisition is mediated by the learner’s L1. Learners do not repeat the entire process of linguistic development; instead they build new knowledge based on their previous knowledge. In fact, L1 lexical/conceptual knowledge has a massive influence on how the learner structures connections between words in an L2 (Wolter, 2006). Presumably, pupils do actually benefit from the usage of L1 in the classroom. However, little research has been done to prove to what extent is this applicable in regards to the aspect of the influence of a teacher’s linguistic choices on pupils’ vocabulary learning and retention.

Research Question
1. Does a teacher’s medium of instruction, L1 or L2, affects the pupils’ process of learning vocabulary?
2. Does a teacher’s linguistic choice, L1 or L2, affects pupils’ memory storage of the newly- learnt words?

Methodology
i. Participants and Design
Thirty-two Year 2 pupils in a public primary school, SK Semenyih will be taking part in this study. This school is located in a semi-rural area. The pupils have been studying English as a second language for three years while their mother tongue is Bahasa Malaysia. They will be divided into two groups; one in the class where the teacher uses L1 while the other the teacher uses the target language. Twenty-four nouns from three different topics will be taught through three classes, sixty minutes each.
The study employed a quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test and delayed post-test. The pre-test is conducted before the lesson is commenced to check on the pupils’ background knowledge. The questions in the pre-test will then be reused in the post-test to check if the pupils have already learnt the new words taught. After a fortnight, a delayed post-test will be carried out to investigate their memory storage of the words.
Twenty-four nouns were selected as the target items, as nouns are considered easier for young learners to learn, being more likely to evoke images and are thus more meaningful than verbs or adjectives (Ellis & Beaton, 1993; Ellis, 1994). Three topics in the Year 2 syllabus were chosen: fruits, animals and things in the classroom. The two criteria used for the selection of the target items were:
1. The Year 2 pupils had learnt these items in their formal native language (Bahasa Malaysia) class; therefore, it is assumed that they are familiar with the items and
2. The items were not loan words from the pupils L1, preventing them from inferring the word meanings by using their L1 knowledge on the pre, post and delayed-post tests.
The target items are taught throughout the lessons and the number of instances each target item is repeated is kept constant.

ii. Tasks
The activities and word lists are the same for all the classes. However, the medium of instruction varies according to the group the participants are in; one in the L1 while L2 in the other. The L1 group is also given translation of the target word whenever necessary, either orally or written form in the distributed task sheets.
Lesson 1 – Listen and repeat
The pictures of the target items are pasted on the board and then are labeled one by one after which the teacher reads them. Pupils are to repeat after the teacher chorally. This activity is repeated twice.
Lesson 2 – Label me
Pupils will have to label the pictures on the question papers that are given out. For L1 group, the names of the pictures are written in the L1 as a guide while the L2 group will receive “pictures only” questions.
Lesson 3-Find My Partner
Pupils are divided into two groups. The teacher will read out the partners for each item and they will have to locate their pair. This activity will be repeated three times.
Lesson 4- Remember Me
All the cards are placed face down. The pupils take turn to throw the dice and the one with the largest number starts the game. The teacher will tell them the name of item to look for. If the card is correct, the pupil can keep the card and if the answer is wrong, the card is left at its original position.
Lesson 5- Guess the Missing Item
In this activity, the pupils get to name each flash-card displayed by the teacher. The named cards are then pasted on the board. When one card was left, the pupils will be asked to name the item on the last card. The pupil who is able to name the missing item would keep the card. This activity is repeated four times. At the end of the lesson, the pupil with the most cards is the winner for the day.

iii. Recording, Transcribing and Reporting of the activities
An audio-recorder is used to record the lessons in the class. The recorded data will then be transcribed. The teacher is required to produce a report based on specified criteria.
iv. Testing procedures
Pre-test and Post-test: This test requires pupils to circle the correct pictures according to the named target items. Along with the correct pictures is equivalent number of distractors.
Delayed post-test 1: Naming and Spelling Test
The pupils are required to name and spell each flash card for the 24 target items learnt. They will be awarded one mark for each correctly named item.
Delayed post-test 2: Draw Me
The teacher will name the items to be drawn. Pupils listen attentively and draw the pictures indicated by the teacher. Each correct item will be awarded one mark.

Discussion
It is hoped that this study will function as a guide to the teachers in deciding the language to be used in the classroom pertaining to the teaching of vocabulary, taking pupils’ interests in consideration. Additionally, this study serves to elucidate issues involved by using the data collected in substantiation of the claim.

References
Inbar-Lourie, O. (2010). English only? The linguistic choices of teachers of young EFL
learners [Electronic version]. International Journal of Bilingualism, 14(3), 351-367

Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed second language vocabulary learning [Electronic version]
Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 329–363

Shintani, N. (2011). A comparative study of the effects of input-based and production-
based instruction on vocabulary acquisition by young EFL learners [Electronic
version]. Language Teaching Research, 15(2), 137–158

Sieh, Y. (2008). A possible role for the first language in young learners’ processing and
storage of foreign language vocabulary. Annual Review of Education, Communication,
and Language Sciences, 5, 136-160. Retrieved 10 October 2011, from
http://research.ncl.ac.uk/ARECLS/volume5.html

Wolter, B. (2006). Lexical network structures and L2 vocabulary acquisition: The role of
L1 lexical/conceptual knowledge [Electronic version]. Applied Linguistics, 27(4),
741-747

18. SITI AISHAH BINTI SAHAIRI (PGP 110013) - October 29, 2011

Proposed Research Topic:
THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING

1. INTRODUCTION

Nowadays teaching and learning processes have changed differently from the past. The arrival of new technologies gives a huge impact to the educational world today. Unlike the old times, students are more exposed to technologies such as blogs, Facebook and Twitters. They use these mediums to communicate and interact with their friends.

A numerous studies have been done on the use of technology in teaching. Hind Al-Fadda and Maha Al-Yahya (2010) conducted a research on the use of blogs as a tool to encourage pre-reading and post class reflections in higher education. In a survey of ESL graduate and software engineering students conducted at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, it is found that there were positive attitudes towards the use of blogs for pre class reading and post class reflections.

Other than blog, there is also research on the role of mobile technology in promoting campus-wide learning environment. Irshad Hussain & Muhammad Aslam Adeeb (2009) carried out a descriptive study at International Islamic University of Islamabad. From the research, the main findings show that there were high percentage in appropriateness and flexibility. However, problems still occurred in using mobile technology for learning purposes.

Serhat Bahadir Kert (2011) has done a research on the use of SMS support in programming education. It is found that student’s academic achievements were influenced by SMS support. Different from Serhat Bahadir Kert (2011), Filiz Yalcin Tilfarlioglu (2011) looked at student’s attitudes towards the use of English in Web 2.0 technology. In this quantitative study, the finding indicates that the use of Web 2.0 technologies in learning was good.

All in all, we can see the impact of technologies on education. Educators started to integrate the new technologies in their teaching in order to make the learning process becomes more interesting and effective. From the four research mentioned before, it can be seen that blogs, telephones, SMS and Web 2.0 technologies were used in teaching and learning process. This is something greatly different as compared to the past. We may not think that these technologies would be brought into the classroom before but now they have became a new trend in this modern educational world.

2. PROBLEM STATEMENT

Community college has started in year 2000. It started with only 10 colleges and has been developed widely year by year. Now, there are 73 campuses all over Malaysia. It offers two types of program. The programs are National Modular Certificate program for SPM leavers and short courses for the community. At National Modular Certificate level, one of the courses offered is English for Work. The purpose of this course is to help learners to increase their ability to use English language to communicate in various situations in social and work environment.

The entrance requirement is very minimum – students must be 17 years old and above; and pass Bahasa Melayu subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). Majority of community college students did not perform well in English subject during SPM examination. Most of them failed this subject and only a quite number of them who passed.

A study has been done on community college graduates. According to “Laporan Eksekutif Kajian Pengesanan Graduat Politeknik dan Kolej Komuniti 2008”, page 325 shows that the community college graduates were not really satisfied with their English language skill (min : 3.44, in the range of 1 [very dissatisfied] until 5 [very satisfied]). Thus, this study will explore how technology can be used in English language teaching in order to improve English proficiency among students.

3. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this study are:
a) To discover motivational level of students when using technology in learning process
b) To find out students’ performance when integrating technology into learning

4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study primarily addressed the following questions:
a) Are students highly motivated to learn with the aid of technology in their
learning process?
b) How do students perform when technology is used in their learning process?

5. METHODLOGY

a) General description of method
A quantitative method will be employed. A set of questionnaire will be distributed to the selected respondents.
b) Sample
The questionnaires will be distributed to 50 National Modular Certificate students who have taken English For Work course at Bentong Community College.

6. DATA ANALYSIS

After collecting the questionnaires, the data will be converted into percentage and presented in the form of even number.

7. PREDICTED RESULT

It is hoped that this research will answer all the research questions.

8. REFERENCES

a) Hind Al-Fadda, & Maha Al-Yahya. (2010). Using web blogs as a tool to encourage pre-class reading, post-class reflections and collaboration in higher education. US-China Education Review, 7(7), 100-106. Retrieved October 10 2011, from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED511312.pdf.

b) Irshad Hussain, & Muhammad Aslam Adeeb. (2009). Role of mobile technology in promoting campus-wide learning environment. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 8(3), 48-56. Retrieved October 10 2011, from http://www.tojet.net/volumes/v8i3.pdf.

c) Kert, S.B. (2011). The use of SMS support in programming education. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(2), 268-273. Retrieved October 10 2011, from http://www.tojet.net/volumes/v10i2.pdf.

d) Tilfarlioglu, F.Y. (2011). An international dimension of the student’s attitudes towards the use of English in Web 2.0 technology. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(3), 63-68. Retrieved October 10 2011, from http://www.tojet.net/volumes/v10i3.pdf.

19. Wan Mohd Nor Aiman b. W Abu Bakar - October 30, 2011

NAME : WAN MOHD NOR AIMAN BIN W ABU BAKAR
MATRIC NO. : PGP110005

Topic
Enhance the reading and spelling ability among the Year 1 pupils through the Phonemic Awareness (Blending and Segmenting).

Introduction
Reading can be defined as the ability to develop meaning, which intended by the author, from the printed word in short, reading is understand the meaning of written language. Reading is dependent on two major cognitive capacities. The first is comprehension, the capability to understand language. The second is decoding, the ability to derive a word through the phonological representation (one based in the domain of spoken words) from the sequences of letters that represent it. Skilled decoding allows the reader to retrieve the meaning of words known and organized through the learning of spoken language. Together, decoding and comprehension skills merge to allow language comprehension to take place by means of the printed word.
This research is focusing on the use of the Phonemic Awareness in helping the pupils to build their reading ability. Since the new curriculum (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah-KSSR) implemented in English Year 1 this year (2011) is giving stressed on the teaching of phonemic awareness, as an English teacher I found that this skills is an important skill in improving my pupil’s ability in reading and spelling. So why is Phonemic Awareness? Phonemic awareness is actually a division of phonological awareness in which listeners or the readers are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. Some studies carried out previously has found that phonemic awareness improves children’s word reading and reading comprehension, as well as helping children learn to spell. Phonemic awareness is the foundation for learning phonics. Studies by Vickie Snider from The Journal of Educational Research have shown that phonemic awareness has a direct correlation with students’ ability to read as they get older. Phonemic awareness builds a foundation for students to understand the rules of the English language. This in turn will allow each student to apply these skills and increase his or her oral reading fluency and understanding of the text.

Rationale for the Study
Based on the suggestion that students need to develop sufficient fluency in order to focus attention on reading comprehension later (Fuchs et al., 2001; LaBerge & Samuels, 1974 as cited in Yo, Cooke & Starling, 2011).This study is important because in general Year 1 students need to have the ability to read sufficiently before they move to Year 2.

Statement of problem
This Paper intends to study the effects of Phonemic Awareness in improving reading and spelling ability of lower primary students thus not taking into context of reading comprehension. The emphasis on identifying and recognising the phonemes (word recognition), blending the phonemes into words.

Hypothesis
The Phonemic Awareness improves English language reading and spelling ability among the Year 1 students. In a longer span of time, it will help the students in acquiring the reading fluency and acquire the language.

Limitation and De-Limitation
There are some limitations that I need to consider while doing this research. My students’ English proficiency is one of the limitations. Most of the students have a very low proficiency. Besides the time that are available for me in carried out the study is very limited. This may cause me a weak statistic on students’ progress. The plus of this research is that I can improve my pupils overall performance in reading and later on helping them in acquiring the language. In conclusion, I do believe that Phonemic Awareness is one of the important factors in improving pupils reading and spelling ability. For the further study I will suggest a further looking on how the Phonological Awareness can help the students in acquiring the language.

Literature review
There is now sturdy evidence that for alphabetic language systems, children’s phonological sensitivity to the speech sound structure of spoken words is important in learning to read (Adatiis. 1990; Byrne. 1996; Goswatni & Bryant. l990; Wagner& Torgesen, 1987; Wagner et al.. 1997). Specifically, the components of phonological sensitivity, phonological memory, and phonological access to lexical items have been shown to be predictive of reading acquisition (Wagner & Torgesen, 1987). Castles and Coltheart (2004) provided a useful service in reviewing critically the data relevant to an important causal hypothesis that how well children learn to read depends on their phonological awareness skills. It has been widely accepted for a long time that such a causal connection does exist: “The work of Bradley &Bryant (1983) … established a causal connection between phonological analysis and learning to read” (Coltheart, 1983, p. 370). But Castles and Coltheart now argue that there are no study has provided unequivocal evidence that there is a causal link from competence in phonological awareness to success in reading and spelling acquisition. This research will address this argument and try to prove the link between the reading and spelling ability and the competency in phonological awareness.

Research Questions
1) To what degree would the phonological awareness among the students increase the participants’ reading and spelling ability?
2) Is the Phonemic Awareness effective in showing results in a three months experimental research study?

Methods
Participants
The research was carried out with 27 participants, all of whom are Year 1 students in the same school, which is Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Jengal in the rural district of Dungun, in Terengganu. Before they came to school, they have learning English for an average 2 years during their pre-school years, which focuses on children English, and promotes their English speaking. During their past learning experience, they infrequently have chance to read any story books and write any sentence patterns. However, as entering to primary school, they face to learn the four skills, which are important to learning English.

Methodology
In order to improve their ability in reading and spelling and reading acquisition, the main procession of this study is according the Grammar Approach. Otherwise, it also applies Total Physical Response to enhance the pupils’ ability in acquiring the phonemic skills such as decoding and also segmenting that in turned will help them in improving the reading ability.

Measure
Blending.
In this task the students were asked to blend 2-3 phonemes to form words. In this individual write-up task, the pupils will blend phonemes (44 phonemes/graphemes from the syllabus) to form words. Pupils were given two sets of card, Consonant Cards and Diphthong Cards, which were all the phonemes they were familiar with. Some sample words are toy, sat, pat and chop. In this task, I would assume that the pupils will use their phonemic awareness to form the words in completing the task.

Segmenting.
The general idea of this task is the .segmentation of heard words at the onset-rime level and the application of phonological rule. Individual children were asked to listen to sets of words and to report them orally. They are required to segment the words heard, for example the word “cat” will be segmented as, /k/, /æ/, and /t/. From the practice examples the children were carefully prepared to the task. There are 40 words used for this task, 20 words are ‘program’ words (words that already being thought) and 20 independent words (words outside of the syllabus with the same structure and phonemes).

Orthographic choice.
In this group task, the children were asked to underline the real word in a pair of lexical items consisting of one real English word and one homophonic pseudo word with similar word shape. Examples were soap, sope; gawn, gon and shoe, shew. All the words were taken from the Year 1 KSSR English textbook.

Orthographic-phonemic choice.
In this task, the children were asked to read silently each short simple or compound sentence embedding live orthographically and phonemically similar monosyllabic words or pseudo words and to underline the one correct word that completed the meaning of the sentence. Some sample items were “Do not give me just a part; give me the (hole/ whale/ whoal/ boal/ whole) thing.” ‘This is a (grate/ greet/ grait /greai/ greit) book.” By using error substitutions, which were real words homophonous with the target word (e.g.. “hole” for whole), compatible pseudo homophones (e.g., “hoal”for whole), and incompatible pseudo homophones (e.g., “whoal”), it was assumed the children would carry out the match-to-target task in a sentential context by orthographic and lexical comparison.

Procedure
In this kind of research, I will use quantitative type of research. Determining ways to collect data, I need to take some steps to improve my pupils’ ability in reading. I will spend twenty minutes after class and twice a week to collect data. This research will spend 3 months. First, I apply the supplement material about the phonemes and graphemes to students. Also have them memorize the phoneme and grapheme. Further, not only have them memorize that, but also have some practicing to students after I explain the phonological rules especially in segmenting and blending the phonemes/graphemes. After applying the rules, I take some words from the English textbooks for example. What’s more, have students practice in group or individually while I will act as the facilitator.
The first two tasks will evaluate the students’ knowledge on the phonemes and graphemes taught to them throughout the year before the research carried out. This will determine the whether the pupils have the ability to apply the phonemic skills in helping them carried out the task. Through these tasks, I will measure my students based on the number of correct answer given. While in the next two task, it will evaluate the students’ ability in applying the skills to discriminate the correct sound with the correct spelling. Through these tasks I will measure my students based on the time taken to complete the task. This will indicate students’ ability in read and understand the sentences. All these four tasks will somehow determine whether the approach that I used in teaching the skills is the best approach or not. Besides, this research also will verify whether Phonemic knowledge/awareness is the exact method in improving reading and spelling ability among the students.

Data collection
Based on the review, I evaluate my students’ performance in reading and spelling through the tasks constructed above. After 3 months of data collection, I will tabulate the check marks on my record-keeping sheet to determine the material and practicing I apply is useful. The results are successful or not, it depends on my students’ performance in reading and spelling after the 3 months of research.

Result
After the research, my students would be able to read and spell better than before. The treatments given during the research period turns out to benefit the pupils. The teaching of phonemes and graphemes help the students in improving their reading and spelling ability. This result shows that Phonemic Awareness does play an important role in learning to read and acquire the language in whole.

Reference List
C. A., & Bowey, J. A. (2005). The Efficacy of Orthographic Rime, Grapheme–Phoneme
Correspondence, and Implicit Phonics Approaches to Teaching Decoding Skills. Scientific Studies of Reading, 9( 4),327-349
Cho, J.R., Chiu, M.M., & Chang, M.C. (2010) Morphological Awareness, Phonological
Awareness, and Literacy Development in Korean and English: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(5), 383-408

Henning, C., McIntosh, B., Arnott, W., & Dodd, B. (2009). Long-term outcome of
oral language and phonological awareness intervention with socially disadvantaged preschoolers: the impact on language and literacy. Journal of Research in Reading, 33(3), 231-246

Hulme, C., Snowling, M., Caravolas, & M., Carroll, J. (2005). Phonological Skills
Are (Probably) One Cause of Success in Learning to Read: A Comment on Castles and Coltheart Scientific Studies of Reading, 9(4), 351-365

Kuppen, S., Huss, M., Fosker, T., Fegan, N., & Usha Goshwani.(2011). Basic Auditory
Processing Skills and Phonological Awareness in Low-IQ Readers and Typically Developing Controls. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(3), 211-243

20. Erin Balqis Qing - October 30, 2011

PBGS 6113
RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISTION

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

LECTURER DR JESSIE GRACE RUBRICO

EFFECTIVE READING STRATEGY FOR EFL STUDENTS IN NO.9 MIDDLE SCHOOL IN BEIJING

NAME: BALQIS SHI QINGQING
MATIRC NO: PGP 110025

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of study
It is known that English has developed into the language most widely used in the world. Reading is one of the four important skills in English as a second or foreign language.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nowadays, many researchers find that in ESL learning, reading is a big challenge for most learners. There are many learners always encountering difficulties when they read, especially in reading complex texts. There are some problems that prevent students from reading efficiently. Common problems such as learners may come across many new words while reading. Low reading speed is another problem.
Whether learners have good reading ability or not is due to whether they have good reading skills or strategies while they are reading. Therefore, this research paper aims at investigating the effective strategies for the ESL learners which could help them enhance their reading ability.

1.3 Aims of the study
This paper is essentially to deternine the effective reading strategies used for ESL leaners to enhance their reading ability.

1.4 Research objectives
The research objectives are:
1. To investigate the cognitive reading strategies in a middle school students in Beijing.
2. To investigate which type of cognitive reading strategy is most commonly used among the students.

1.5 Research questions
The research will seek answers to the following questions:
1. What are the cognitive reading strategies of middle school students in Beijing?
2. Which type is the most common used by the students?

CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Definition of Reading
According to Calhoon (2005:424), ‘reading is a fundamental skill on which academic success, secure employment, and personal autonomy depend.’

2.2 Reading Strategies
Palinscar and Brown (1984) developed a technique called reciprocal teaching that taught students to predict, summarize, clarify, and ask questions for sections of a text. The technique had positive outcomes. Since then, the use of strategies like summarizing after each paragraph have come to be seen as effective strategies for building students’ comprehension. The idea is that students will develop stronger reading comprehension skills on their own if the teacher gives them explicit mental tools for unpacking text (Pressley, 2006).
Comprehension through discussion involves lessons that are “instructional conversations” that create higher-level thinking opportunities for students. The purpose of the discussion is to promote critical and aesthetic thinking about text and encourage full classroom involvement. According to Vivian Thayer, class discussions help students to generate ideas and new questions. (Goldenberg).
There are specific comprehension strategies that some teachers are now using in the classroom. For instance, teach students about prior knowledge. Making a connection is when a student can relate a passage to an experience, another book, or other facts about the world. Questioning is another strategy that will greatly benefit a student. Visualization is when a student can create a picture or movie in their mind while reading text. Summarizing is a comprehension strategy that also important. Evaluation is about making judgments on what you read and then explaining why you made those judgments. Synthesizing is putting the pieces together to see them in a new way.

2.3 Issues relating to English in the secondary curriculum in China
Course Description; Course Objectives; Course Design; Teaching Aims and Demands; Implementation Guidelines.

CHAPTER Ⅲ METHODOLOGY

3.1 Research Design
This research is a procedure for collecting and analyzing quantitative data access the research problem. The questionnaire is for Chinese students. It is a survey in No.9 middle school in Beijing. This design has chosen because it really suits with how the study is carried out.

3.2 Research Sample
The samples will be 30 random students of No.9 middle school in Beijing. The research samples will also include 6 teachers who are teaching three grades of No.9 middle school in Beijing.

3.3 Research Instrument
To conduct the process of this study the researcher uses questionnaires for the students and teachers.

3.4 Data Collection Procedure
About the questionnaire, researcher will follow the procedure of searching information, constructing the questionnaire, inviting the participants, E-mailing the questionnaire, waiting for response, asking back the completed questionnaire.

3.5 Data Analysis Procedure
The researcher will analyze questionnaire data by using descriptive statistics. The procedure includes input data, summed score method to analyze data, report by using tables and summary of the major result.

REFERENCE

Chamot, A.U. 2004. Issues in Language Learning Strategy Research and Teaching.

Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 14-26

Ellis.R.. 2002 . The Study of Second Language Acquisition. UK: Oxford University Press. Gagne .E.D. 1985. The cognitive psychology of school learning. MA: Little, Brown

Kinoshita C.Y . 2003. Integrating Language Learning Strategy Instruction into ESL/EFL Lessons, The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. IX, No. 4, April 2003

Macaro E. 2001. Learning strategies in foreign and second language classrooms.

London and New York: Continuum

21. Mohanambikay a/p Pandian - October 31, 2011

Mohanambikay a/p Pandian (PGP11015)

TITLE: A STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF USING SONGS TO TEACH VOCABULARY TO ENGLISH ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME LEARNERS OF UNIVERSITI TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN, PERAK.

1.0 Introduction

Words are the basic unit of language form. Some authors say that learning words is a task which cannot possibly be intrinsically motivating. Teachers, however, keep looking for ways to substitute rote repetition with more effective techniques and to make learning vocabulary easier and more pleasant. They develop various mnemonic strategies employing action, music, drawing and fantasy (Eccles & Wigfield, 1995).
The topic of teaching vocabulary through songs is very appealing. Considering the needs and expectations of the students, the subject seemed to be also relevant. Vocabulary teaching is one of the most important elements in English teaching, because without appropriate or sufficient vocabulary it is almost impossible for a person to form a proper sentence or creative sentences. It is highly looked upon for one to possess such vast vocabulary thus showing learnedness. “Vocabulary is central to language and of critical importance to the typical language learner” (Zimmerman, 1997, pg. 5) hence lack of vocabulary knowledge will result in lack of meaningful communication.
By using successful techniques and appealing tools (for example songs) to teach new vocabulary items, students will find words easier to remember. By engaging in a pleasurable experience, learners are relaxed and their inhibitions about acquiring a second language are lessened.
A difference in effect between the pre-test and post-test based on when music is played is to be found through this research.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

With insufficient vocabulary, one finds it hard to convey their thoughts and to communicate. Having a limited vocabulary also prevents the students from learning a foreign language. If learners find expanding their vocabulary too difficult for them, they will lose interest in learning gradually. Many students consider learning vocabulary a tedious task. They will study lists of words, with their spelling, pronunciation, meaning, synonyms, etc. only to realize a few hours later that they have forgotten half of what they have learnt. They then blame it on their memory but according to Brown, 2000 memorizing does not guarantee them the supernatural ability to recall every single word.
Students are discouraged by the number of words in English and their complex usage. The ambiguity of words becomes an issue because of the inability to grasp the abstract idea of them leading to poor transition to speaking, reading and writing while it causes students to ignore the significance of possessing good vocabulary. Their inability in getting their message through forced them to stop learning intentionally and rely more on incidental learning.

1.2 Objective of the study
The study is intended to meet the following objectives:

i.) To determine whether the use of songs in teaching vocabulary for the English Enhancement Programme learners in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Perak can help them remember words and vocabulary easier and to help them to use it in more instances.

1.3 Research Questions
The following research question was formulated in order to meet the research objective:

i.) Will the use of songs in teaching and learning English vocabulary be more effective than the use of word lists, meaning, and pronunciation charts?

1.4 Research Hypothesis
A hypothesis is constructed to answer the research question. It is stated below:

i.) The use of songs in teaching and learning of English vocabulary to second language learners is more effective than the traditional classroom method.

1.6 Literature review

One way to improve vocabulary is to hear it. Research shows that vocabulary building can occur via listening, even when the listener is exposed to a minimal amount of new words (Cohen, 2008). It is also noted that by just listening, even without repetition (i.e. a noted way of building vocabulary), vocabulary development can occur. It is also necessary for learners (both English as a second language learners and native speakers) to hear English before actually reading the words (Austermuehle et.al, 2007).
A study by Vidal (2003) revealed that students who listened to just 3 lectures demonstrated reasonable increases in vocabulary (Cohen, 2008). It is suggested that listening could substitute for reading in regards to increasing vocabulary, and that when used with interactive teaching, exposure to audio increases vocabulary development (Cohen, 2008). According to Cohen (2008), just listening to stories or the reading of text may be more effective for vocabulary development than once thought.
Audio strategies to improve vocabulary can be as simple as listening in an environment rich with quality words. Another is the use of software that has an audio component. For example, Ultimate Vocabulary software has high quality audio pronunciations of more than 20,000 words.
Finally, two studies, Domoney and Harris (1993) and Little (1983) investigated the occurrence of pop music in the lives of EFL students. Both studies found that music is often the major source of English outside of the classroom. The exposure to authentic English is an important factor in promoting language learning. It relates directly to automaticity. If students enjoy the songs they listen to, more learning will occur since they will seek out the music outside of the classroom. The repetitive style of songs then helps to promote automatization of colloquial language.

1.7 Research Methodology

A set of test papers of the first set of vocabulary consisting various nouns, adjectives and verbs were used as the pre-test and post-test for the first experiment. Words from the song have been omitted and a table of words is given including the rubrics. A set of questionnaire were used to find out students’ preferences of the two teaching methods, namely, the ‘traditional classroom method’ and ‘the method of using songs’. Some background information and 4 questions were asked. A Lickert Scale was used to conduct the questionnaire. Another set of test papers of the second set of vocabulary consisting various nouns, adjectives and verbs was used as the pre-test and post-test for the second experiment. Words from the song have been omitted and a table of words is given including the rubrics.

22. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - October 31, 2011

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

A STUDY ON FIRST LANGUAGE INTERFERENCE (MANDARIN) IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (ENGLISH).
CHAPTER 1

1.1 Introduction

Second language acquisition is a process of acquiring or learning another language after their first language or mother tongue. Since the second language is acquired after a first language, it may be influenced by the first language. According to Perez & Torres-Guzman (1996), children who are proficient in their first or native language will use the second language in similar ways which are to communicate, to obtain information, to solve problems and to think. Tabors (1997) also stated that a young child that learns a second language will use the acquired knowledge through their first language, to learn the second language. He added that, it is more like “what this language is’ rather than ‘what language is’ for second language learners. It clearly shows in the process of acquiring a second language, a learner’s first or native language will interfere. Interference may come in a form of grammar, phonology, lexicon, and pragmatics. There are 3 different processes that influence the second language acquisition namely overgeneralization, simplification and language transfer.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Many second language learners are capable of acquiring the language well. However, some learners face difficulties in acquiring the language as their first language interferes with the acquisition of the second language. Often these learners apply the knowledge of their first language into their second language. This condition is also known as language transfer which involves the grammar aspect and the sentence structure of the first language. Generally, there are 2 types of interference or language transfer, positive and negative. While the positive interference does not affect the acquisition of the second language, the negative interference gives disadvantages to the learners.

1.3 Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to determine the interference of Malaysian Chinese students’ first language on their second language acquisition. This study will look into the aspects that interferes the acquisition.

1.4 Research Questions

This study has two research questions to assist the researcher to carry out the study. They are:

i) How students’ first language interferes their second language
acquisition?
ii)What are the aspects of the first language that are transferred
into their second language?

1.5 Conceptual Framework

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of the Research

1.6 Significance of the study

Many students especially second language users face difficulty in being proficient in English. This could be because their first language interferes with the acquisition of the second language. This study hopes to find out to what extent is the interference and how it affects the students.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to 30 students from an institution in a suburban area in Perak. The students involved are those in one particular institution only. Since this study is carried out by randomly selecting 30 students, the findings of this study do not represent the entire population of the students in the institution.

CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Odlin (2003) defines language transfer as “Transfer is the influence resulting from similarities and differences between the target language and any other language that has been previously (and perhaps imperfectly) acquired”. It is claimed that language transfer does not only come from the similarities or differences of between the first and second language. This condition may also occur due to the relationship of the learner, teacher and contextual variables.

Language transfer is referred as the influence that the students’ first language has over the second language. This is ruled by students’ perception about what can be transferred from their first language in the stages of learning their second language. (Ellis, 1997). Albert and Obler (1978) clarify that if the students’ first language has similar features as the second language, the chances of language transfer is higher compared to those whose language has less similarities. When there are less similarities, students will face difficulties in acquiring the second language and they will opt to refer to the first language for assistance.

CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

3.1 Population

The population of this study will be Malaysian Chinese students of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Perak whom are second language users. Their first language is Mandarin.

3.2 Sample

From the population, a total 30 students will be selected as the samples of this study. The samples are both female and male students aged between 18-21.

3.3 Research Instruments

The instrument used to gather data for this study are as follows:

i)Observation
ii) Interview

3.4 Procedure for Data Collection

The samples of this study will be observed to determine how their first language interferes their second language acquisition. Then the samples will be interviewed to find out the aspects that lead to this condition.

3.5 Analysis of Data

Data collected from the observation and interviews will be processed and analysed to answer research questions. The findings will be discussed simultaneously as the data are being interpreted.

23. Di Siti Shi - October 31, 2011

NAME: SITI SHI DI
MATIRC NO: PGP 110024

PBGS 6113
RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISTION

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Title: Language Learning Strategy in Second Language Acquisition: An Investigation of Vocabulary Strategy Use among ESL Undergraduates in University of Malaya

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Statement of the Problem

In recent days, the significance of vocabulary and its significance in learning a second language have become more accepted and learning strategies is one main factor affecting learners’ performance. Moreover, examining the relationship between learners’ use of L2 vocabulary strategy and vocabularies learning may lead us to pay more attention to the role of learning strategies in second language acquisition. Therefore, the current study is basically concerned with main approaches to L2 vocabulary learning and teaching.

1.2 Aims of the study

This study aims to explore knowledge of L2 vocabulary acquisition by investigating the vocabulary strategy use, and its influence on or relationship to L2 vocabulary acquisition. Accordingly, the current study will focus on the relations between L2 vocabulary strategy use and L2 reading strategy use, and effect of learning strategy use by ESL learners and their ability in learning new vocabulary and the relationship between the two.

1.3 Research objectives

1. To investigate whether there is a relationship between UM (University of Malaya) ESL learners’ use of vocabulary strategy and their ability to acquire new vocabularies

2. To investigate whether there is a relationship between UM ESL learners’ vocabulary strategy use and reading strategy use

1.4 Research questions

1. Is there a relationship between UM ESL learners’ use of vocabulary strategy and their ability to acquire new vocabularies?

2. Is there a relationship between UM ESL learners’ vocabulary strategy use and reading strategy use?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

1. There is a relationship between UM ESL learners’ use of vocabulary strategy and their ability to acquire new vocabularies.

2. There is a relationship between UM ESL learners’ vocabulary strategy use and reading strategy use.

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Language Learning Strategy

According to O‘Malley et al. (1985a, cited in Griffiths, 2006), the definition of the language learning strategies are “operations or steps used by a learner that will facilitate the acquisition, storage, retrieval or use of information” (p. 23). And, Rubin (1975, p. 43; cited in Griffiths, 2008) declares ―strategies are the technique or devices which a learner may use to acquire knowledge. Oxford (1990; cited in Griffiths, 2003) defines strategies as ―learning strategies are specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, more transferable to new situations (p. 8). However, there are some conditions under which the use of language learning strategies are useful: a). the strategy relates well to the L2 task at hand; b). the strategy fixes the particular students‘ learning style preferences to one degree or another, and c). the student employs strategy effectively and links it with other relevant strategies (Ehrman, & Leaver, and Oxford, 2003).

Recent research, as Leavell and Nam point out, has aimed at determining a connection between strategy use and language proficiency (Green and Oxford, 1995; Oxford and Ehrman, 1995). The result of such research indicates that more proficient language learners employ more strategies compared with less proficient learners (p.2). The relationship between the language learning strategy use, namely, L2 vocabulary learning strategy use, and its acquisition is the main concern of the present study.

2.2 Vocabulary Learning Strategy

Recently, the significance of vocabulary acquisition has been emphasized by researchers and commentators because vocabulary acquisition plays a crucial role in learning a second language (Allen, 1983; Laufer, 1986; Nation, 1990; Richards, 1980; cited in Lawson and Hoghen, 1996). However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the conceptualization of the process concerning what contributes to vocabulary acquisition (Lawson and Hoghen, 1996). They point out that another determining factor concerning vocabulary acquisition is the importance of context and the value of reading (Moulton, 1966, Twaddle, 1980, Parreren; cited in Mondria & Wit-De-Doer, 1991). According to Farhady (2006), applying certain types of strategies forms an approach to vocabulary learning that influences the level of foreign language proficiency. In other words, appropriate strategy use results in improved achievement in specific skills or sub-skills. Moreover, language proficiency also affects the use of particular vocabulary strategy use.

Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY

3.1 Research Design

This is a survey research for collecting and analyzing quantitative data to investigate the vocabulary strategy use by ESL learners in UM and to determine 1). the relationship between the two types of strategy use and 2). the relationship between UM ESL learners’ use of vocabulary strategy and their ability to acquire new vocabularies.

3.2 Research Sample

The sample was selected through cluster random sampling and 60 undergraduate ESL learners in University of Malaya will participate in the study. The sample of the study will only include the fourth-year (senior) undergraduate students who have been studying TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).

3.3 Research Instrument

To conduct the process of this study, the researcher will use The Language Strategy Use Inventory (developed by Cohen, A, Oxford, L. R, and Chi, J.), a self-report questionnaire, to measure the students’ vocabulary and reading strategy use and their ability of new words learning.

3.4 Data Collection Procedure

In data collection procedure, researcher will follow the procedure of searching information, constructing the questionnaire, inviting the participants, distributing the questionnaire, waiting for responses, and asking back the completed questionnaire.

3.5 Data Analysis Procedure

The procedure includes input data, summed score method to analyze data, report by using tables and summary of the major result. The researcher will analyze questionnaire data by using descriptive statistics to investigate the participant’s vocabulary and reading strategy use and Spearman Correlation to measure how much the participant’s vocabulary strategy use correlated with their reading strategy use.

References:

Ehrman, M., Leaver, B., and Oxford, R. (2003). A brief overview of individual differences in second language learning. System 31, 313-330.
Farhadi, H. (2006). Twenty-five years of living with applied linguistics: Collection of articles. Iran, Tehran. Rahnama press.
Griffiths, C. (2003). Patterns of language learning strategy use. System 31, 367-383.
Griffiths, C. (2006). Language learning strategies: Theory and research. Iran. ILI Language Teaching Journal 2, 1.
Griffiths, C. (2008). Lessons from good language learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lawson, M. J., & Hoghen D. (1996). The vocabulary-learning strategies of foreign-language students. Language Learning 46, (1): 101-135.
Oxford, R. L. & Green, J. (1995). A closer look at learner strategies, L2 proficiency, and gender. TESOL Quarterly 29, 261-297.

24. Safiatun Baharom - November 15, 2011

SAFIATUN BAHAROM ( PGP110009)
RESEARCH TOPIC: TEACHING APPROACHES EMPLOYED BY TEACHERS IN TEACHING POETRY TO LESS PROFICIENT ESL LEARNERS.
1. Introduction
The introduction of literature in schools as a subject in helping and inculcating the students’ interests towards the learning of English as a second language is indeed a noble idea especially when the decline in the standard of the English is a major issue nowadays. Literature by itself has much to offer and in the hands of a teacher who knows how to explore it, the hidden value of literature can much be learnt. It is hoped that students can give personal response, show awareness of how language is used, draw valuable moral lesson from the issues portrayed in the literary texts and relate to their life’s and to appreciate other cultures. However, for some teachers and students teaching and learning literature is not their cup of tea. One of the challenges for the teachers is teaching poem as it is incorporated in the literature component. Most students dislike and shy away from poetry appreciation. Tseng (2010), Siti Norliana et al. (2009), Fauziah et al. (2008) in their studies suggested negative attitudes are associated with reading poetry whereby students feel that they have difficulties in understanding the poems. The linguistic and cultural obstacles lead to frustration and dishearten students from appreciating poems. But students have no choice regardless of these difficulties but to engage in learning poetry as it is part of the syllabus. So at this juncture, teachers have to take the challenge in ensuring students to unravel the meanings and provide them the opportunity to express their opinions and reactions through the poems they read. The teaching approaches that teachers used in the classroom will guide students in their understanding thus lessening their fear and frustration in understanding the texts.

2. Literature Review
The approaches in teaching Literature.
There are three most common teaching approaches in literature (Lazar, 1993). These approaches will guide teachers in designing their lesson depending on the students’ level and suitability of the materials. The first approach is using literature as content which is usually applied in the tertiary level students who have enough linguistic knowledge to discuss literary texts. This is the traditional approach as the study will focus on historical, political issues or background of the genres. The second approach is literature for personal enrichment where students are encouraged to relate the texts to their own experience. This approach can be an excellent way of getting students to connect the texts with real life situation as some students feels that poems are not relevant in their lives (Evelyn Sharminie, 2005). There will be personal involvement between the learner and the texts. According to Khatib (2011) in his study, confirmed that by getting students involved in the poem based on their own experiences showed tremendous result. Thirdly, language-based approach is used to integrate the literature and language. The main purpose is to enable students to make meaningful interpretations through detailed analysis of the texts. This approach is when the literary texts is used as a resource to stimulate language activities and hence can help students to improve language proficiency.

3. Statement of the problem
As it is hoped that the implementation of Literature in the English can improve students in the language and are able to appreciate the aesthetics values, the teacher plays an important role to tackle the students’ interest in learning literature. Based on my personal teaching experience, the task is not easy as it seems because of the language barriers that ESL students’ have. Students are not able to appreciate the poems taught as most of them feel that the language of poems is difficult to understand. Low proficiency learners will definitely find that learning poem is taxing and difficult. So, what is happening in the teaching of poetry in classes? What are the teaching methods employed by teachers in teaching poetry? Does the teaching of poetry achieve its objective in developing students’ critical thinking? With these questions in mind, it is therefore the intention of the teacher researcher to find out the approaches employed, used by teachers in teaching poetry to low proficiency students. The study is aimed at finding out the strategies or method used by teachers in their teaching of poetry to the low proficiency group of students. . The intention of this study is best presented in the form of research questions as below:
1. What are the approaches used by teachers in teaching
poetry to low proficiency learners?
2. Why do teachers employ such approaches in their teaching?
3. How do teachers’ perceive teaching of poetry to the less
proficient students?
4. How does students’ response to the approaches used by
their teachers?

4. The objective of the study
The objectives of this study are as follows:-
• To find out the approaches used by teachers in teaching
poetry to students.
• To investigate why teachers used the strategies and
approaches to the group of students
• To elicit feedback of students perception over the
approaches used the teaching of poetry
• To study the perception of teachers on the teaching of
poetry to weak learners.

5. Method of the study
This study intends to get a glimpse of what happens in a poetry class. The main aim of the study is to investigate the approaches that teachers practice in teaching poetry to less proficient second language learners.

5.1 Research design and procedure
This study will utilize the quantitative methodology. The data for the study will be retrieved from the questionnaire as the primary instrument and classroom observation. The classroom observation is an 80 minutes class on the teaching of Mr Nobody poem. Next, teachers and students will be given a set of questionnaires for them to answer. Data will be analysed to answer the research questions for the purpose of this study.
5.2 Location and sample of the study.
The study will be conducted in a sub urban school in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Meru, Klang. SMK Meru is a national school located 7 miles from the Meru town. There will be two groups involved in this research. The first group will be 4 English teachers who are teaching less proficient classes. The second group is 80 students from 3 different classes of form 1 students. The determination of the less proficient group is based on their midyear examination administered by the school. The forms 1 are chosen because this group of students have just entered the secondary education level and this would be their first year in the secondary school and learning literature as part of the English syllabus.

6. Conclusion
The study on the approaches employed by teachers in teaching poetry is carried out to look at ways how teachers teach weak learners to understand and appreciate poetry. If the approaches employed by teachers are successful and have a positive effects on students, it will convince that low proficiency learners are able to understand poetry. This will rebut some criticism saying that poetry is difficult to be taught and second language learner have a negative perception in learning poetry. The researcher hopes that this study will provide a clear vision to other ESL teachers, especially new teachers who have to teach Literature. This study will give teachers some insights as the strategies they can used to make the teaching of poetry in an ESL classroom to be a fun, creative and alive.
On the other hand, students’ feedback on the approaches will be valuable information to the teachers. The students’ comments and views will help teachers to think and plan their classroom teaching with a special emphasis on the areas that students are weak at so as to help the students to get the most in the literature classroom. It will guide teachers to form a more dynamic and effective lesson plan to teach low proficiency students. For instance, teachers will be able to see what types of activities are suitable for this group of learners.
It is hoped also the problems that are faced by teachers in teaching poetry to the low proficiency students will give an insight to the curriculum developers to plan for necessary training for teachers in order for them to be able to teach literature effectively so that the objectives of the Literature Component in English can be achieved.

References

Evelyn Sharminie,V. (2005). Teaching poetry to reluctant learners in form four ESL classrooms. Unpublished Master Thesis, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

Fauziah I, Marzilah A.A, & Tina A. (2008). Literature in English language teaching: A revisit in the Malaysian context. In Research in language teaching. (Reprinted from Research in English Language Teaching, 2008, pp. 62- 76)
Retrieved from http://teknologimalaysia.academia.edu

Lazar, G. (1993). Literature and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge

Muhammad, K. (2011, January). A new approach to teaching English poetry to EFL students. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(1), 164-169.

Siti Norliana, G, Roszainora, S, Chittra, M & Kamaruddin,J
(2009). ESL students’ attitude towards texts and teaching methods used in literature classes. English Language Teaching, 2(4), 51-56

Tseng, F.P. (2010, January). Introducing literature to an EFL classroom: Teacher’s presentations and students’ perceptions. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), 53-65.

25. Pravendran Muthu PGP 110023 - November 17, 2011

Pravendran A/L Muthu
PGP 110023
Title : The Effects of Using Grammar Games to Improve Students’ Use on Tenses

CHAPTER ONE : 1.0 INTRODUCTION
This research was carried out to study the effects of using grammar games to improve students’ use of tenses. Students easily get bored when it comes to learning the second language especially when it comes to grammar. This is mainly due to lack of interest since grammar is difficult to comprehend. Therefore, a different method needs to be used in order to gain students’ interest in the target language. In this study, grammar games were used to teach grammar and students were tested on a few grammar components to check their progress in the use of those components.

1.1 Statement of the Problem
Teaching grammar of English is a difficult undertaking, especially when it involves Malaysian students whom English is not their first language. ‘Of course grammar is not a course in itself. It should be seen as an invaluable supplement to the day to day work in the classroom and as a useful resource for self-study’ (Dave Willis; 1998)

1.1.1 Why is learning grammar difficult?
Based on a study done by Saima Nomaan (2009) on the problems in teaching grammar, students find it difficult to learn grammar because of their poor understanding of the structures of a grammatically correct sentence in English, the many exceptions present in English grammar, lack of practice and shortage of fluent spoken language, lack of understanding and uncertainty regarding the correct use of the variety of verbs and mostly the ignorance of the phonetics and phonology of the English language.

1.2 Objective of the Study
The objective of this research is to study the effect of using grammar games in improving students’ use of tenses.

1.3 Research questions and Hypotheses
1. Does teaching grammar using games improves students’ use of tenses?
2. How do the students react when games are used as a teaching tool?

1.4 Significance of the Study
This study is conducted in order to study the effect of using grammar games in teaching grammar in class to improve students’ use of tenses. Besides that, by conducting this study, I believe that an effective solution can be found in order to avoid the routine activities involved in a grammar lesson such as, writing, correcting and rewriting sentences which can be very boring and frustrating to most of our students. Moreover, this study is also conducted to help us decide whether grammar games can be a substitute to traditional grammar teaching in class by analysing students’ progress in their use of tenses.

1.5 Limitations of the Study
The respondents of this study were only 30 students from Form 1Didik of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang Selangor. Therefore, this study is only applicable to a small group of respondents. However, future researchers may explore the topic and make the research more comprehensive, extensive and applicable to a wider range of population.

CHAPTER TWO : REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.0 Introduction
This chapter discusses grammar, grammar games and need of grammar games and the reason why we need to teach grammar using games based on previous researches.

2.1 What is Grammar?
Grammar should be called the way in which words change themselves and group together to make sentences.” (Jeremy Harmer; 1991, p. 1)
In conjunction with what Nesamalar Chitravelu et. al (2005; pg196) have said, grammar is the set of rules that controls the formation of sentences, phrases and words in any language. ‘Grammar can also be defined as the systematic study and description of a language’ (Richard Norquist; About.com) ‘In other words, grammar tells us how to construct a sentence (word order, verb and noun systems, modifiers, phrases, clauses, etc)’; H.D Brown (2001; pg362).

2.2 Why do we need to use games?
There is always an alternate way of learning the language as well as enjoying oneself at the same time. One of the best ways of putting these two together is through games(Lee Su Kim;1995). This is because, teaching English grammar can be really difficult especially when it comes to the part where the students attention span and cooperation is concerned.
Many have also noticed the difference in many aspects when a more active approach is used in teaching English grammar, that it through games. ‘Researchers have also begun to look at how and why these new methods work.’ (Shelley Vernon; 2007)

2.2.1 Features of Grammar Games
Grammar games have the ability to keep students engaged in the activities. A grammar game can test on one or many grammar components at a time. For an example, a grammar game can test on both regular and irregular verbs of the Simple Past Tense. Games normally have a context in which they are played. For an example, a game on past tense may require students to create sentences based on an experience that they had with their friends or family. This provides students with the experience of using the language in certain situations.

2.2.2 Why do we need to Teach Grammar Using Games?
Games have been part of teaching and learning English grammar for a long time. The first reason why we need to use games in teaching grammar is because of what Thiagarajan, Wright, Betteridge and Buckby have said; ‘Games add interest to what students might not find very interesting. Sustaining interest can mean sustaining effort.’ Games are something that students are interested in and that will also ensure full cooperation.

CHAPTER 3 : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.0 Introduction
In this chapter, the researcher discusses on the research design, the instruments used, the population and sampling, data collection and procedures and the data analysis. Six grammar games were used to teach grammar and a pre-test and post test were given to the students which tested on Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense.The respondents are 30 students of Form 1Didik from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang Selangor.

3.1 Research Design
Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to conduct this research. Under the qualitative approach, the Pre-test and Post test method was used. This method was used to perceive students’ improvement in their use of tenses by seeing the differences of marks obtained by students of Form 1Didik for the test before and after the treatment was given. Under the qualitative approach, the observation method is used. Students of Form 1Didik were observed while the treatment was given, that is they were observed while they play the game in class. The difference in behaviour and response were observed and recorded.

3.2 Population and Sampling
The samples are taken from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang Selangor. This school has a population of 1745 students. The total sample is 30 students from Form 1Didik. These students’ proficiency level is intermediate.

3.3 Instrumentation
A Pre-test and Post test were given to students testing them on two cloze passages that test on Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense. During the course of the research, that is, during the lesson where grammar is taught through games, the teacher had carried out observations on the students. The observation was guided using an observation sheet

4.0 Data Analysis
The results of the pre-test and post-test, and observations were examined and utilized in writing the final report of this research. However all data and observations were carefully, systematically and accurately recorded by the researcher for a true and accurate report to be written.

Bibliography:

1. Anne Seaton and YH Mew, English Grammar for Students(2000): Learners Publishing

2. Dave Willis and Jon Wright, Basic Grammar(1998): HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

3. ESL Games and Activities for adults http://teachingenglishgames.com/adults.htm – date retrieved: 7 January 2010

4. Lee Su Kim, ‘Creative Games for the Language Class’ – date retrieved: 7 January 2010 ‘Forum’ Vol. 33 No 1, January – March 1995, Page 35.

5. One Step Forward: Why Do We Need Good Grammar? http://www.one-step-forward.net/2007/08/why-do-we-need-good-grammar.html – date retrieved: 7 January 2010

6. Shelley Vernon, Teaching Grammar with Fun Learning Games, Teaching English Games http://searchwarp.com/swa138228.htm – date retrieved: 7 January 2010

7. Simple Present tense verbs and explanations for students and teachers of English http://www.eslgold.com/grammar/simple_present.html

8. Teaching Grammar with Games:
http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/Articles/Teaching_Grammar_with_Games_in_the_ESL_Classroom.htm – date retrieved: 7 January 2010

26. Julidiawati Saidon - November 18, 2011

Julidiawati Saidon
PGP 110032
Title : Using Weblogs To Gain Students Interest In Writing

BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Writing is one of the four important skills in ESL besides reading, listening and speaking. According to Marilyn V. Olander, writing is a complex cognitive skill, a technology for capturing speech whose forms and conventions began in the dawn of civilization and were in place and stable by the Middle Ages. Writing and reading are the foundation of literacy, fundamental to success in school and in the adult world. No comprehensive theory of composition guides the teaching of writing, although historically two approaches have been favored: writing as a skill acquired through memorization and recognition of principles of grammar and usage, and more recently, writing as a process of recursive strategies of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. (Olander, 2007)
Students commonly regard writing as a chore, closed loop between student and teacher to demonstrate what one knows, with the primary value being the correction of errors and grade (Olander, 2007). From students’ of school level, college to university, writing is rarely perceived as an enjoyable or easy task. The writing process itself is tiring as students need to go through different stages in producing a good piece of work. Writing also requires students to read a lot as knowledge of the topic area is needed to be applied in their writing.
Through my personal observation, nothing much had changed in a writing class. Students still hate writing class and teachers have been thinking of ways to ensure that students can write a good piece of essay. However, the normal scenario of having five periods of class per week will not be enough to ensure that students are able to produce good essay. Compared to a reading class, it might be easier to get students to do extensive reading outside of the classroom rather than make students do extensive writing. Even the NILAM programme which have been in Malaysian schools since the 90s up till now, merely emphasize on reading.
The word NILAM stands for Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca. According to Fatimah Jusoh from the Educational Resources Service Section at the Educational Technology Division (Ministry of Education), the NILAM programme is an integration of all reading activities in schools with the aim of encouraging continuous reading and to inculcate the reading habit. It is a programme that gives recognition to those who read. It is mandatory for all primary and secondary schools to conduct this programme. Students are given a NILAM book for them to record the book which they have read. They will be rewarded according to the number of books that they read.
As a result of the NILAM programme, students tend to master the skill of reading and not so much in the skill of writing. The traditional way of making students do extensive writing I went through when I was a student in school was to keep a diary/journal which the teacher will check. This traditional way of trying to make students write even outside of the classroom is now being modernized in the form of blogging. For most students today, working with the computer can be very motivating to them as computer is perceived as an unlimited source of entertainment. Therefore, anything related to the computer and especially the Internet or World Wide Web would really arouse their interest. As been said by Dr. Wan Mohd Fauzy Wan Ismail and Dr. Hairul Nizam Ismail from Universiti Sains Malaysia, ICT technologies such as computer is a very attractive motivator to all students especially the low-achieving students.
In some schools, computer aided learning has become a routine. Within the past six years, teachers have begun exploring weblogs, a recent multimedia technology that draws on students’ interest in computer related communication. Blogs enable frequent writing that is either spontaneous or planned and accessible by readers whether in a password-protected environment or open to the Internet (Olander, 2007)

PURPOSE OF STUDY
Literature has shown that classroom blogging had been successfully implemented in other parts of the world. This paper seeks to obtain Malaysian educators’ perspective and opinions on using weblogs to gain students’ interest in writing.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For this study, the research questions are;
1. Do educators believe that weblog should be used/implemented in the classroom to gain students’ interest in writing?
2. Do educators think that implementing weblog in the classroom practical in Malaysia?
3. How effective would the educators think of using weblog to gain students’ interest in writing?

LIMITATIONS
The limitation of this study is that it focuses only on educators of higher learning institution in certain parts of Selangor only.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The decision for conducting this study is based on my personal observation that students nowadays are losing interest in writing and that something should be done so that good writers will not be extinct species in Malaysia. Therefore, this study will look into educators’ perspective towards the idea of blogging in classroom so that we can think whether it should be implemented in Malaysian classroom too.

METHODOLOGY : SAMPLE AND SAMPLE SELECTION
The samples are English language lecturers from different higher learning institution in Selangor. These English language lecturers will be interviewed to gather information regarding their perception towards using weblogs to gain students interest in writing. The type of sampling is convenience sampling.

DATA GATHERING METHOD
The instrument which is employed in this research is interview. Interview is the best method to be used in this research. This is because the title of the research itself tells us that the paper will cover about educators’ perspective. Interviews enable us to gather a person’s view in depths. Interview also makes it easier for the researcher to clarify any parts of the question which is unclear to the sample(s). The interviews will be conducted with guidance to the interview questions.

PROCEDURES EMPLOYED
This research is a qualitative research and the sampling type is convenience sampling. Interviews will be conducted to gather data for the research.

DATA ANALYSIS
The data collected will be sorted out into categories according to the themes that emerged from perceptions towards using blogs to gain students interest in writing which answers the research questions.

27. Princess Lina - December 15, 2011

Dear Dr. Jessie,
I have resend you a copy of my proposal dur to the change of research topic.

NORAZLINA BINTI RAFI AHMAD
(PGP110020)

Title: The Use Of Bahasa Melayu In The Teaching Of English Among Primary School Students In SK Bukit Sentosa
Research Topic: The Use of L1 to Learn L2

Introduction

“English is taught in both the primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. Its position is that of a second language. It is a means of communication in certain everyday activities and certain job situations. It is an important language to enable Malaysia to engage meaningfully in local and international trade and commerce. It also provides an additional means of access to academic, professional, and recreational materials.”

By placing English as the second most important language in Malaysia when Bahasa Melayu was implemented as the national and official language after independence proves that Malaysia agrees on the importance of mastering English. However, this does not mean that Bahasa Melayu is being neglected but the learners need to learn the English language is greater in order to face the world’s challenges. Therefore, proficiency in English and the ability to speak and communicate in English is, without doubt, an important instrument to the academic, social and economic well being of the students if they don’t want to be left out. This is essential especially when they enter higher learning institutions since it is the reality that it is an uphill task for students especially Malay students when they need to refer to any text written in English.

Background of study

The target population is from Year Five consisting of 27 Malay boys and girls of average ability of which about one third of them have minimal command of English in SK Bukit Sentosa, Rawang. Bahasa Melayu is their medium of communication. To accomplish this study, the researcher will observe the teaching of English in Year Five based on the syllabus twice a week at the beginning and end of the week using the same topic but different approaches: 100% English and the latter using bilingual approach. The instruments used in the data collection are class observation, questionnaires and answering comprehension questions.

Statement of problem

In Malaysia National Education Policy, it is stated that all children from the age 7 must attend school, be it the SK or SRJK’S. In an SK schools’, Year 1 to Year 3 will have 8 periods of English lesson allocations and 7 lessons per week for the Year 4 to Year 6 pupils. Therefore, teachers face a dilemma.

This is where the problems arises. Not all students have adequate proficiency of English when they entered school and more often than not, these children do not even have the basic in their own first language, that is Bahasa Melayu. Therefore, for them to master this language at the time allocated is very much in doubt.

Secondly, all teachers are racing against time in order to prepare the pupils for their national level examination, Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). They are more concerned on whether the pupils would be able to answer their exam questions rather than making sure whether learning has taken place.

Thirdly, most students have this unexplained ‘phobia’ of them will automatically repel and reject in learning English mostly because they felt that English is the most difficult subject they will never be able to learn it. It is most probably due to lack of vocabulary and have difficulties in understanding their assignments or exercises besides having low self -esteem and no motivation will definitely impede their learning. Furthermore, they seldom use English in their daily life and chances are, they might not even be listening to any English programs on television or radio.

Therefore, this study is to determine the effectiveness of using bilingual approach in enhancing the learning of the target language by being able to comprehend the lesson of the Year Five students in SK Bukit Sentosa.

Purpose of study

The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of using Bahasa Melayu in enhancing the teaching of English among Primary students in understanding reading comprehension.

Literature Review

Anderson and Boyer(1970) have argued that the primary goal of first language is not to teach English as a second language but to teach children concepts, knowledge, and skills through the language they know best and to reinforce this information through the second language. In fact this is a new way of conceiving the entire range of education especially for the children whose native language is not English just entering the school. In my research, I will be looking into how effective it is using L1 to teach the children English language.

According to Goh & Fatimah (2006), they have argued that students feel comfortable when first language is frequently used in learning the second language and also during the lesson is conducted as they can understand the L2 comprehension text better.

Hypotheses
i) Using L1 Approach is an effective way of teaching English as a second language compared to
using the traditional approach.
ii) The use of L1 Approach will make learning easier for the students since this will help the
students to understand the meaning rather than the form.

Methodology
Research Design
This research design is a descriptive research using a case study in order to find out whether using L1 approach in teaching English is an effective method to increase the students’ understanding and comprehension in the target language. Data will be collected and tabulated manually. A percentage count will be conducted upon receiving the data and to be presented in tables.

Participants
Nine English teachers from Year 1 to Year 6 were selected to answer the questionnaire. The number of respondent teaching Year 5 were limited since the school has only 2 teachers who were assigned to teach English in Year 5. Therefore, the researcher selected all the English teachers. This is to ensure a more comprehensive view of the respondents.

The target population is from Year 5, consisting of 33 Malay boys and girls of average ability with moderate command of English from SK Bukit Sentosa, Rawang. They were selected to answer the questionnaire forwarded to them.

Instrumentation
The instruments used in the data collection are class observations by the researcher, using a checklist, two sets of questionnaire for the teachers and students and a test of comprehension in the form of passages for the students. These research methods were selected by researcher to enhance the internal validity of the study, therefore enables the researcher to be more confident in the claims the researcher will make.

Data Collection & Procedures
Observation
The researcher will use a ‘real-time’ observation using an observation checklist. The observation data will be collected during an hour lesson. Only teaching point using target language and dominant language arising from ‘teacher-whole class’ interaction were noted. The feedback from lesson 1, using target language will be compared to the 2nd lesson that used the first language approach. The observation checklist will consist of 12 questions reflecting on students’ level of participation during both lessons.

Test of Comprehension
The researcher will choose multiple-choice questions to check student’s comprehension since this is the most familiar type. Students will be given two passages with five questions to each passage. In the first lesson, teacher will use 100% target language for the entire teaching process. Then, students will answer 10 multiple choice questions from the passage given.

A week later, the teacher will teach the same lesson but this time using a first language approach. The students will be given the same passage again but ‘doctored’ passages and will also answer the multiple-choice questions which will be arrange in a different sequence.

Questionnaires
The aim of the questionnaires is to find out the teachers and students perceptions of how they view English as a subject and the preferred method of teaching ESL.

Research Questions
i. Why there is a need for teachers to use Bahasa Melayu in the teaching of English?
ii. What are the effects of using Bahasa Melayu in teaching English?

Findings
I hope at the end of this study, it can be proved that using L1 can be an effective approach in teaching English and further enhance their understanding of the language among primary school students.

28. Pravendran Muthu PGP 110023 - December 23, 2011

PRAVENDRAN MUTHU ( PGP110023)

TITLE : THE EFFECTS OF USING GRAMMAR GAMES TO
IMPROVE STUDENTS’ USE ON TENSES

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction
This research was carried out to study the effects of using grammar games to improve students’ use of tenses. Students easily get bored when it comes to learning the second language especially when it comes to grammar. This is mainly due to lack of interest since grammar is difficult to comprehend. Therefore, a different method needs to be used in order to gain students’ interest in the target language. In this study, grammar games were used to teach grammar and students were tested on a few grammar components to check their progress in the use of those components.

1.1 Statement of the Problem
Teaching grammar becomes a failure in today’s classroom environment in Malaysia due to the method that is being implemented. ‘Of course grammar is not a course in itself. It should be seen as an invaluable supplement to the day to day work in the classroom and as a useful resource for self-study’ (Dave Willis; 1998)

1.1.1 Why is learning grammar difficult?
Based on a study done by Saima Nomaan (2009) on the problems in teaching grammar, students find it difficult to learn grammar because of their poor understanding of the structures of a grammatically correct sentence in English, the many exceptions present in English grammar, lack of practice and shortage of fluent spoken language, lack of understanding and uncertainty regarding the correct use of the variety of verbs and mostly the ignorance of the phonetics and phonology of the English language.

1.2 Objective of the Study
The objective of this research is to study the effect of using grammar games in improving students’ use of tenses.

1.3 Research questions and Hypotheses
1. Does teaching grammar using games improve students’ use of tenses?
2. How do the students react when games are used as a teaching tool?

1.4 Significance of the Study
This study is conducted in order to study the effect of using grammar games in teaching grammar in class to improve students’ use of tenses. Besides that, by conducting this study, I believe that an effective solution can be found in order to avoid the routine activities involved in a grammar lesson such as, writing, correcting and rewriting sentences which can be very boring and frustrating to most of our students. Moreover, this study is also conducted to help us decide whether grammar games can be a substitute to traditional grammar teaching in class by analysing students’ progress in their use of tenses.

1.5 Limitations of the Study
The respondents of this study were only 8 students from Form 1Didik of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang, Selangor. Therefore, this study is only applicable to a small group of respondents. However, future researchers may explore the topic and make the research more comprehensive, extensive and applicable to a wider range of population.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.0 Introduction
This chapter discusses grammar, grammar games and need of grammar games and the reason why we need to teach grammar using games based on previous researches.

2.1 What is Grammar?
Grammar should be called the way in which words change themselves and group together to make sentences.” (Jeremy Harmer; 1991, p. 1)
‘‘In other words, grammar tells us how to construct a sentence (word order, verb and noun systems, modifiers, phrases, clauses, etc)’; H.D Brown (2001; pg362).

2.2 Why do we need to use games?
There is always an alternate way of learning the language as well as enjoying oneself at the same time. One of the best ways of putting these two together is through games. This is because, teaching English grammar can be really difficult especially when it comes to the part where the students attention span and cooperation is concerned. (Lee Su Kim;1995).
Many have also noticed the difference in many aspects when a more active approach is used in teaching English grammar, that it through games. ‘Researchers have also begun to look at how and why these new methods work.’ (Shelley Vernon; 2007)

2.3 Features of Grammar Games
Grammar games have the ability to keep students engaged in the activities. A grammar game can test on one or many grammar components at a time. For an example, a grammar game can test on both regular and irregular verbs of the Simple Past Tense. Games normally have a context in which they are played. For an example, a game on past tense may require students to create sentences based on an experience that they had with their friends or family. This provides students with the experience of using the language in certain situations.

2.4 Why do we need to Teach Grammar Using Games?
Games have been part of teaching and learning English grammar for a long time.
The first reason why we need to use games in teaching grammar is because of what Thiagarajan, Wright, Betteridge and Buckby have said; ‘Games add interest to what students might not find very interesting. Sustaining interest can mean sustaining effort.’ Games are something that students are interested in and that will also ensure full cooperation.

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.0 Introduction
In this chapter, the researcher discusses on the research design, the instruments used, the population and sampling, data collection and procedures and the data analysis. Four grammar games were used to teach grammar and a pre-test and post test were given to the students which tested on Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense. The respondents are 8 students of Form 1Didik from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang, Selangor.

3.1 Research Design
Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to conduct this research. Under the qualitative approach, the Pre-test and Post test method was used. This method was used to perceive students’ improvement in their use of tenses by seeing the differences of marks obtained by students of Form 1Didik for the test before and after the treatment was given. Under the qualitative approach, the observation method is used. Students of Form 1Didik were observed while the treatment was given, that is they were observed while they play the game in class. The difference in behaviour and response were observed and recorded.

3.2 Population and Sampling
The samples are taken from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Desa, Tanjung Karang Selangor. This school has a population of 1745 students. The total sample is 8 students from Form 1Didik. These students’ proficiency level is intermediate.

3.3 Instrumentation

3.3.1 Pre-test
This test was given to the students before the treatment was given. The test includes two cloze passages that test them on Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense (refer to Appendix 1). The aim of this test is to judge the background knowledge of the students on these tenses.

3.3.2 Post test
This test was given after the treatment was given. The test includes two cloze passages that were similar to the ones given in the pre-test and required the same forms of answers (refer to Appendix 2). The aim of this test is to see the progress of the students in their use of Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense. The levels of difficulty for both tests were the same.

3.3.3 Observation
During the course of the research, that is, during the lesson where grammar is taught through games, the teacher had carried out observations on the students. The observation was guided using an observation sheet containing the criteria and aspects that needed to be looked into (refer to appendix 3).

Grammar Game A (1) – Simple Past Tense
This game is titled ‘Ghosts’ and was adapted from ESLFlow.com. It is a communicative game for reviewing Past Tense. This game is designed for students of intermediate proficiency level. The time duration allocated for this game is 20 – 40 minutes.
The class was first divided into three teams; Team A, Team B and Team C. The board is divided into four columns, one column for each team and in each column; three men which depicts three men were drawn. Written in the fourth column, are the past tense verbs that had been brainstormed earlier with the students and five sequence connectors (First, Next, Then, After that and Finally) The rules were explained to the students; which were: A team loses life if
1. they repeat a verb
1. they make a grammar mistake
2. they take too long to answer
3. they make a ridiculous sentence
The idea is that the first team starts with the word “First”, the second team “Next” and so on, making past tense sentences and every time they came round to ‘First’ they could start a new situation. They were allowed to use the past tense verbs written on the board. The teams that lose three lives die and become ghosts. The last team is the winner.

3.6.3 Grammar Game A (2) – Simple Past Tense
This game is named ‘Tic-Tac-Took’ and is taken from ESLFlow.com. It focuses on past tense of irregular verbs. The time duration assigned for this game is 30 – 45 minutes and is suitable for all levels of proficiency.
First, students are asked to sit in pairs, facing each other. They are then asked to decide which player is ‘X’ and which player is ‘O’. Teacher pastes a list of irregular verbs on the board. A Tic-Tac-Toe grid is distributed to each pair. Teacher then explained to the students how the game was to be played. From the list of irregular verbs, the students were required to take turns in choosing and then writing the base form of the verbs in the squares of the Tic-Tac-Toe grid. Taking turns, each student was to read aloud one of the verbs from the grid. The student must then use the past tense of that verb in a simple sentence, e.g.: take – Yesterday, I took the bus to school. If the sentence is correct, the student puts an “X” or an “O” in the square containing the verb. The student who gets three “Xs” or “Os” in a row is the winner.
3.6.4 Grammar Game B (1) – Simple Present Tense
This game is called ‘The Long Sentence’ game. It is taken and adapted from ESLFlow.com. The time given for this game is 20 – 30 minutes and is suitable for all levels of proficiency. The game is adapted to focus on simple past tense.
The daily routine of three people is written on the board .All the students are asked to sit in four rows. The first student is required to create a sentence using the present tense form of the first verb given on the board referring to the daily routine of the first person. Then the second student is required to continue by creating a new sentence or by joining another sentence to the previous one. If the sentence is wrong, the student is ‘out’ of the game and the opportunity goes to the next student. The last student is the winner.

3.6.5 Grammar Game B (2) – Simple Present Tense
This game is called ‘Hangman’ which is taken and adapted from Games Bank in ESLFlow.com. The aim of this game is to practice and revise present tense of various irregular verbs and their spellings. The time planned for this game is 30 minutes. This game is suitable for lower intermediate to high intermediate proficiency levels. This game is varied from the original ‘Hangman’ game.
The class is divided into two groups, group A and group B. A representative from group A is required to come to the front of the class to pick a question from the box that the teacher is holding, reads it aloud and return to his/her group. Teacher draws the blanks required by the verb in the present tense form on the board. Students call out letters, one at a time. If the letter is in the word, teacher writes it down. If the letter is not in the word, the first line of the hangman picture is to be drawn on the board under the column for group A (refer to appendix 8). Any wrongly guessed letters are written below the picture so students don’t repeat them. The group that is able to correctly guess a word gets 2 points. The group that gets the hangman picture completed loses the game.

3.7 Procedure of Research
Form 1Didik, which is the target group, were given a test which tests on two grammar components, Simple Past Tense and Simple Present Tense. The test papers were collected and marked. This is done in order to know the level of their knowledge in those grammar components. Then, the treatment is given; they were taught simple present tense and simple past tense through games once a week, for six weeks. The games were taught during the production stage of the lesson. During the lesson, the students were observed by the researcher and the results and findings were recorded. After the treatment is given, the students were tested again (post-test). The pre-test and post-test are of the same difficulty level. The test papers are collected, marked, recorded, compared and analysed.

3.8 Conclusion
The instrumentation, which were pre-test and post-test; and observation have been carried out on the students. The data collection and the procedure of the research have been discussed clearly by the researcher. The quantitative approach of the research has also been stated. The data analysis and the research findings will be discussed in the next chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

4.0 Introduction
This chapter presents the results and findings of this study; which includes the results of the pre-test and post-test, the findings of the observations and the interpretations of both the results and the findings.

4.1 Data Analysis
The results of the pre-test and post-test, and observations were examined and utilized in writing the final report of this research. However all data and observations were carefully, systematically and accurately recorded by the researcher for a true and accurate report to be written.

4.1.1 Pre-test
The test papers were marked and the marks were calculated. The results of the pre-test were tabulated, then compared and contrasted by the increase or decrease in scores obtained by each student according to the grammar component. Below are the results of the pre-test that were obtained on the 28th of November2011.

Results of Pre-test

Based on the table 4.1 above, the questions on Simple Present Tense (regular verbs) have the highest number of correct answers that is 75.0% whereas questions on Simple Past Tense(irregular verbs) has the lowest number of correct answers that is 37.5%. More than half of the class have got correct for questions on Simple Present Tense (regular verbs) and Simple Past Tense (regular verbs), 5 correct answers and 4 correct answers accordingly. More students have scored for questions on Simple Present Tense compared to questions on Simple Past Tense. From this result, it can be deduced that, students of Form 1Didik are weak in their use of tense, especially in their use of irregular verbs of Simple Past Tense and irregular verbs of Simple Present Tense.

4.1.2 Post Test
The test papers were graded. The results of the post-test were tabulated, then evaluated and distinguished by the increase or decrease in scores obtained by each student according to each grammar component. Below are the results of the post test that were obtained on the 8th of December 2011.

Results of Post Test
Based on the table 4.2 above, the questions on Simple Present Tense (regular verbs) have the highest number of correct answers that is 87.5% whereas questions on Simple Past Tense(irregular verbs) has the lowest number of correct answers that is 62.5%. More than half of the class have got correct for questions on Simple Present Tense (regular verbs) and Simple Past Tense (regular verbs), both with 6 correct answers. More students have scored for questions on Simple Present Tense compared to questions on Simple Past Tense.

4.1.3 Observation
The observations were carried out during each lesson in which grammar was taught through games. Teacher observed students from many aspects as they were carrying out the activity that had been planned for them.

4.1.3.3 Lesson 1 – Grammar Game A(1): Simple Past Tense, ‘Ghosts’
Students were very eager to know how a game with this title would be. They were very active and volunteered to take part in the activity. This can be perceived when they were more eager to answer the questions given. Besides that, students were also more cooperative within themselves. They were willing to help their fellow group members out when they were finding it difficult to answer the questions given. The shyer students tried answering a few times, which shows that they are slowly gaining confidence in using the language. They were also encouraged by their fellow group members.

4.1.3.2 Lesson 2 – Grammar Game B(1): Simple Present Tense, ‘The Long Sentence Game’
It was found that students are more eager to learn when games are involved in the lesson. It first creates the curiosity in them. They enjoyed the lesson and this could be seen by their participation and involvement in the activity. Besides that, students were more cooperative with the teacher compared to a normal lesson. They tend to help their group members in solving the question or completing the challenge. The shyer students seemed to gradually gain confidence to speak since they need to try to stay in the game. They were able to talk in English with the encouragement from the others.

4.1.3.5 Lesson 3 – Grammar Game A(2): Simple Past Tense, ‘Tic-Tac-Took’
Students were very enthusiastic in playing the game. It was noted from the observation that the students tend to help each other better when they work in pairs. They were very interested to know whether the sentences that they have created were right or wrong. The shyer students tend to speak up more to defend themselves that the sentences that they have created are correct. The need to compete in them boosts their initiative to create better sentences. All the students participated actively in the activity and they enjoyed the lesson.

4.1.3.4 Lesson 4 – Grammar Game B(2): Simple Present Tense, ‘Hangman’
Students were very energetic and fast since they were already familiar with the game. The whole class was very lively. Students were busy recalling what they have learnt to get the correct answers. There was maximum participation from all of them. They were extra cooperative among team members to ensure that they win the game. Their confidence level was high too. The shyer students were confident enough to try their luck. Students were able to recall the verbs and their spellings.

4.1.4 The Comparison between Pre-test and Post test

When the results of the Pre-test and Post- test were compared and tabulated into a table and a graph, below is the product.

Figure 4.1 illustrates the students’ achievement in the Pre-test and Post-test. The Pre-test and Post-test tested students on their use of two grammatical items, which are Simple Present Tense and Simple Past Tense.
For the first item, Simple Present Tense (regular verbs), there is a significant improvement in the use of the Simple Present Tense (regular verbs) from the pre-test to the post test. The improvement is from 75.0% in the pre-test to 87.5% in the post test which shows an improvement of 12.5%. This shows that the students’ use of the grammatical item can be considered as good.
For the second grammar item, Simple Present Tense (irregular verbs), there is a marginal improvement seen in the use of Simple Present Tense (irregular verbs). The improvement recorded is 25%, which is 50% in the pre-test to 75% in the post test. Even though there are improvements, but students need more practice in this grammatical item as there are many exceptions in the grammar of English language.
There is a considerable improvement in the use of the third grammar item, Simple Past Tense (regular verbs). The improvement is calculated to be 12.5%, which is from 62.5% in the pre-test to 75.0% in the post test. This proves that students’ use of Simple Past Tense (regular verbs) can be considered satisfactory.
For the fourth grammar item, Simple Past Tense (irregular verbs), there is a major improvement in students use of the item, which is from 37.5% in the pre-test to 62.5% in the post test. The improvement computed is 25.0%. This shows that more students were able to answer the questions on this grammar item. Nevertheless, they still need more practice in the use of this grammar item.

4.3 The Findings of the Study
After the pre-test and observation were conducted, and the results were tabulated, compared and analysed, it can’t be denied that students have showed tremendous improvement in their use of tenses which in this case are Simple Present Tense and Simple Past Tense. The increase of 12.5% in the use of Simple Present Tense (regular verbs), 25% in Simple Present Tense (irregular verbs), 12.5% in Simple Past Tense (regular verbs) and 25.0% in Simple Past Tense (irregular verbs) shows that students were able to understand and apply the tenses better after the grammar items were taught through games. Therefore, this has proven the first research hypothesis that teaching grammar using games improves students’ use of tenses.
For the observation in Form 1Didik, it was found that students were more eager to learn when games are involved in the lesson. It creates the curiosity in them. They respond better. They also gave their maximum participation and cooperation. This shows that the lesson doesn’t frustrate or bore them. Thus, this has also proven the second research hypothesis that students are more excited, enthusiastic and cooperative when games are used as a teaching tool.

4.4 Conclusion
The results of the pre-test and post-test have shown the improvement in students’ use of tenses. The observations done have shown that students are more interested, cooperative and enthusiastic when games were used to teach grammar. As a whole, the outcomes of the end result of the study have proven that the research has been successful.
The effectiveness of using grammar games in improving students’ use of tenses and recommendations for the study will be discussed in the next chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Introduction
This chapter discusses the effectiveness of using grammar games in improving students’ use of tenses and the recommendations for further researches and practising teachers.

5.1 Summary of the effectiveness of using grammar games in improving students’ use of tenses
The results of the pre-test and post-test showed that students improved on their use of tenses. It also shows that students understand the use of tenses better and they were also able to apply them correctly. However, I feel that the results of the post-test could have shown better performance if all the students were given more treatment.. The response from the students was always positive too. A remarkable difference could be seen between the class that grammar was taught through games and the class where teaching and learning went on as normal. Hence, this study has proven that using grammar games helps in improving students’ use of tenses and also sustaining their interest and focus in the lesson.

5.1 Recommendations
Considering students now and in the future generation who get frustrated and bored easily, grammar should be made as interesting as possible. Language teachers should take the necessary steps in making this possible. Teachers should vary their teaching method from time to time to ensure students’ attention and cooperation. Grammar games should not just be time-fillers, but part of the teaching and learning activity. Games should be taken seriously because it is one of the way in which students learn best. Teachers can always make use of their creativity to adopt and adapt games and activities according to their students’ needs. Fun and interesting games that come together with advice and suggestions can be obtained from websites such as ESLFlow.com: http://www.eslflow.com.

5.3 Implications for practising language teachers
This study is an advantage to the practising teachers as it proves that using games in the classroom to teach grammar is effective in helping students improve in their use of tenses and keeping them out of boredom and frustration.
By now, language teachers should be aware that grammar is an important part of language and it needs to be taught to students no matter how difficult it may seem. As it is said by Mario Rinvolucri, ‘grammar is perhaps so serious and central in learning another language that all ways should be searched for which will focus student energy on the task of mastering and internalising. One way of focusing this energy is through the release offered by games’(1984:3).

Thus, teachers should take the necessary measure in making grammar teaching and learning more fun and interesting. In order to do this, teachers should provide variety in the teaching and learning activities of grammar. Instead of teaching grammar the traditional way, giving exercises and questions; a grammar game that requires all the necessary skills and that includes all the necessary words can be played. However, this depends on the teacher for it is the teacher who knows the students best.

5.4 Conclusion
Grammar games indeed have a lot of advantages if they are used in the right way. It also makes the whole process of grammar teaching and learning easier and more interesting. To conclude, I would like to emphasise that using grammar games in the classroom does not only help keep students interested in the lesson and improve their use of tenses, but it comprises many more advantages that benefit both the teacher and the learners.

Bibliography:

1. Anne Seaton and YH Mew (2000). English Grammar for Students: Learners Publishing.

2. Dave Willis and Jon Wright(1998). Basic Grammar. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

3. Ego4u.com, grammar games: Retrieved 30.09.2011, from http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/simple-past/exercises

4. ESL Games and Activities for adults Retrieved 30.09.2011, from http://teachingenglishgames.com/adults.htm

5. EnglishClub.com: Retrieved 26.09.2011, from http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb-tenses_sys-what.htm

6. Grammar Games : pic-tac-toe. Retrieved 30.9.2011, from http://www.eslflow.com/PicTacToe.html

7. Grammar Games, hangman : Retrieved 30.09.2011, from
http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/elt/products/games1.pdf

8. Grammar Games, the long sentence: Retrieved 28.09.2011, from
http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/elt/products/games1.pdf

9. Lee Su Kim (1995), ‘Creative Games for the Language Class’ ‘Forum 33(1),35.

10. One Step Forward: Why Do We Need Good Grammar? Retrieved 29.09.2011, from http://www.one-step-forward.net/2007/08/why-do-we-need-good-grammar.html

11. Shelley Vernon, Teaching Grammar with Fun Learning Games, Teaching English Games. Retrieved 30.09.2011, from http://searchwarp.com/swa138228.htm

12. Simple Present tense verbs and explanations for students and teachers of English Retrieved 30.9.2011, from http://www.eslgold.com/grammar/simple_present.html

13. Stephen Hooper: Retrieved 25.09.2011, from http://www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp?docid=145077

14. Teaching children grammar through games Retrieved 29.09.2011, from http://www.eslbase.com/articles/children-grammar.asp

15. Teaching Grammar with Games: Retrieved 30.09.2011, from
http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/Articles/Teaching_Grammar_with_Games_in_the_ESL_Classroom.htm

16. Water, No Ice » Do we need grammar? Retrieved 26.09.2011, from http://waternoice.com/2008/03/25/do-we-need-grammar/

seetha - September 10, 2014

hye,..can i get a copy of this research for my reference
tq.

drjessie - September 11, 2014

Hi Seetha,

Please email the researcher directly. And if he gives you a copy, please cite the work accordingly.

The Moderator

29. Noorzarina Ismail - November 21, 2015

I read Nurasma binti Somad’s journal on Using Songs to accelerate vocabularies among ESL learners in Malaysia Primary School. The only things is that i would like to read more on that journal.What should i do ??. Thank you.

30. drjessie - November 21, 2015

You might want to contact the author.


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