SKKN Implementation of outdoor activities at Le Loi upper secondary school to enhance the students’ speaking ability

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Sáng kiến kinh nghiệm “SKKN Implementation of outdoor activities at Le Loi upper secondary school to enhance the students’ speaking ability” triển khai gồm các biện pháp nổi bật sau:

– Establishing an organizing groups including the vice- headmaster, the teachers of English , the Youth Union, core students
– Holding introductory meeting to make detailed plan and split the responsibility for each member .
– Creating a new official website where the groups of students will upload their products after finishing the video clips

Mô tả sản phẩm

 

I. INTRODUCTION 

1. Reason for choosing the topic 

As we know, English has been one of the most popular languages and a means of communication in the world. In our modern society, the world is changing quickly with the exploration of information science, technology which develop like rain and storm. Languages has been a serious barrier to cooperation and the acquisition of technical and cultural advances among nations. Therefore, English has been chosen as an international language. Subsequently, the Ministry of Education and Training has launched English in Vietnam’s education program from the Primary Level. It has been considered as a core subject at any stage of the School Education System. However, Teaching speaking English skill in upper secondary school is a big challenge for the teachers because the teacher should grow the students interest in order that they have motivation to speak. It can be said that speaking is very important skill for the high school students because it prepares them to face the global world. In fact, the ability of Vietnamese students to communicate has not been mastered. One of the reason is that teachers have not created a suitable communication environment for students to learn foreign languages. Most teachers make use of textbook and donot invest for the design of a variety of useful activities. Learning English is to communicate, however, in speaking lessons they are passive, only write and hardly say and after speaking students donot know how to express their ides in a real situation related the topic they have just learnt. Being a teacher of English for a long time and from my personal experience I myself find out that sometimes it can be difficult to keep my students on task in four walls of the classroom. Some students show their depression during the lesson by looking out of the window especially as the school year is approaching its end and the weather outside is nice, the sun is shining. You and your students are sweating in the classroom. You are explaining something( for the nth times) and the class is not paying attention. Some are even nodding off in the back. May be it is time for a change of pace, a change of atmosphere and outdoor activitities is really considered  as a wonderful inspriration for students to speak up in English if they are close to nature. Learning beyond the classroom is one of the ways to address the challenging of making students interested and wanting to learn in fun ways. Beyond the classroom activities carried out encourage students to learn English by focusing on task-orientated activities that encourage students in creative language use. When they are outdoor they can get more motivation to learn something. By taking outdoor activities the teachers find it easier to define some concepts, some definitions that are hardly explained when teaching in the classroom.  

Working as a teacher of English for a long time, and working in a mountainous area, I understand who my students are and what difficulties they have to face when learning a language. Also, I have found out the disadvantages we have to encounter when working with students coming from ethnic minorities. Therefore, I always try to look for the most effective ways of teaching so that my students can understand the lesson easily and love learning English. I together with my colleagues have applied a variety of different ways of teaching related using teaching aids and other technilogies. However, the most effective method that allows my students to participate in is outdoor activities. Because students can relax and learn at the same time, they have no pressure of studying.  In the recent years I have been appointed as a leader of English group, I have been more opportunites to apply many outdoor activities at Le Loi high school on a large scale and also ask other English teachers to do so as I have done. From then on I 

have found that our students have studied more actively and effectively. They are always more eager to access the lesson than before. My students always look forward to outdoor activities. They no longer feel stressful and bored during the classes. To be honest, I feel absolutely satisfied with the teaching initiative I have done  

Based on my long working time and real activities I and my students have done for several years, I have made decision to choose the topic  “  Implementation of outdoor activities at Le Loi upper secondary school to enhance the students’ speaking ability with the aim of sharing my ideas with other colleagues.  

Of course, this study can’t be perfect in limited time. I do hope that the contribution of my colleagues will bring it to perfection and be widely applicable.  

2. Aims of the study 

The study is carried out to meet the following aims 

  • Provides in depth- information on the types of activities and environments learners participate in them, as well as how they engage themselves in such activities. It provides the evidence in favor of the view that outdoor activities are valuable and should not be underestimated as a way to enhance learning opportunity and language exposure for students 
  • To give a brief overview on outdoor activities and introduce samples of outdoor activities out of the class 
  • To increase student creativity and activeness 
  • To reduce students’ stress and pressure 
  • To improve the quality of teaching and learning English at Le Loi high school.  
  • To boost communication English skill of the students at Le Loi high school.  
  • To identify the demotivation in English speaking learning and teaching.  
  • To suggest some feasible solutions to eliminate the demotivating factors in English speaking lessons in order to better students’ English learning 
  • To suggest some outdoor activities in teaching speaking skill 

3. Scope of the study  

The scope of study is about applying outdoor activities in increasing students’ interest in learning speaking to students at Le Loi upper secondary school. 

4. Method of the study  

  • I have collected and studies various materials relating to the subject so that I can find out the orientation for the content of the topic, understand the research problem and solve the problem with relatively accurate documentation 
  • Apply and adapt some essential knowledge from the workshops and classes I have participated in before 
  • Through attending English lessons of colleagues in and out of school. I summerized some valuable experiences in holding outdoor activities 
  • Carry out surveys and interviews among students as well as having small discussions about the effectiveness of the application 
  • Through expert group meetings, I and my colleagues have discussed the problem of teaching method and skills to teach English speaking skills.  

5. Significance of the study 

Hopefully, the findings will make a little contribution to the banks of teaching initiatives to increase interest in learning speaking English for students by implementing outdoor activities. The study may also help to find out what are the difficulties when applying outdoor activities. Furthermore, it may not only help to find out the difficulties when applying outdoor activities but also give some suggestions to help teachers to overcome these difficulties.  

II. MAIN CONTENT 

1.Theoretical background methods 

1.1 . Teaching and learning English speaking skill 

1.1.1.Communicative language teaching approach – an effective language teaching method. 

1.1.1.1. Definition of communicative language teaching approach 

“Communicative language teaching (CLT), or the communicative approach, is an approach to language teaching that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of study.” (www.wikipedia.org) 

Communicative language teaching makes use of real-life situations that necessitate communication. The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life. Unlike the audio-lingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach can leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real-life simulations change from day to day. Students’ motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics. 

Margie S. Berns, an expert in the field of communicative language teaching, writes in explaining Firth’s view that “language is interaction; it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship with society. In this light, language study has to look at the use (function) of language in context, both its linguistic context (what is uttered before and after a given piece of discourse) and its social, or situational, context (who is speaking, what their social roles are, why they have come together to speak)” (Berns, 1984, p. 5). 

1.1.1.2. The goal of communicative language teaching approach 

The main goal of communicative language teaching is to build, to make, and to develop learners’ communicative ability in the classroom and outside the classroom in order to the learners to be active speakers without many thinking about grammatical mistake. In other words, the main goal of this approach is to make an improvement of the communicative competence, especially ability for speaking in the classroom or out of class with other person by using oral language 

1.1.1.3. The way of learning English speaking effectively 

Speaking is” the process of sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non- verbal symbol, in a variety of context (Chaney, 1998, p.13). Learning English speaking as second language is actually not easy for Vietnamese students. According to Margre S.Berns again, “language is interaction, it is interpersonal activity and has a clear relationship with society” (Berns, 1984.p.5). Therefore, learning speaking is not just a process of imitation or repetition of drills. It requires a lot interaction between students. In speaking activities, the more communicative activities students attend, the more improvable speaking skills students get. 

The main criterion for success in learning speaking is whether or not the learners can communicate fluently in English. The below steps are some guidance that can helps learners reach to this aim. 

The first step is realizing the fact that learning the English language should not be a duty or chore for the learners; it should be taken as a fascinating hobby that will help learners to expand their horizons in many aspects of their life. One of the most important aspects of improving spoken English is to have an extensive vocabulary so that they could express their thoughts clearly and easily. Having a good stock of words would help them to be more precise with their construction and more articulate with their speech. 

Next, having knowledge of basic grammar is another very necessary component of improving spoken English. It is not necessary to have an extensively detailed knowledge of grammar for speaking fluent English. In fact, speaking in absolutely correct grammar may sometimes lead to awkwardness in casual and informal meetings or talks. So, learners just have a basic knowledge of grammar would be enough to get learners started. 

The other step is to be able to convey what they want to express in a confident and easy manner. For this, learners need to believe in themselves. Also, do not hesitate to ask the other persons for clarification if learners do not understand them or they themselves are stuck on a word or two in the middle, and need some help.

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