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Luận văn Thạc sĩ Modal verbs in English and their uses in writings by 10th graders at an upper secondary school in Hanoi

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  • Luận văn Thạc sĩ Modal verbs in English and their uses in writings by 10th graders at an upper secondary school in Hanoi

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES VŨ THỊ LAI MODAL VERBS IN ENGLISH AND THEIR USES IN WRITINGS BY 10TH GRADERS AT AN UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL IN HANOI (Động từ tình thái tiếng Anh cách sử dụng chúng viết học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Hà Nội) M.A MINOR THESIS Field: English Linguistics Code: 8220201.01 Hanoi, 2020 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES VŨ THỊ LAI MODAL VERBS IN ENGLISH AND THEIR USES IN WRITINGS BY 10TH GRADERS AT AN UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL IN HANOI (Động từ tình thái tiếng Anh cách sử dụng chúng viết học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Hà Nội) M.A MINOR THESIS Field: English Linguistics Code: 8220201.01 Supervisor: Prof Dr Hoàng Văn Vân Hanoi, 2020 DECLARATION I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled “Modal Verbs in English and Their Uses in Writings by 10th Graders at an Upper Secondary School in Hanoi” (Động từ tình thái tiếng Anh cách sử dụng chúng viết học sinh lớp 10 trường THPT Hà Nội) submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts at the Faculty of Post Graduate Studies, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi Except where reference indicated, no other person‟s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the thesis Hanoi, 2020 Vũ Thị Lai i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Hoàng Văn Vân, Prof Dr., for his inspiring me to this research If not for his helpful material supply as well as invaluable guidance, insightful comments and kind support, my thesis would not have been accomplished I also wish to thank all my lecturers in Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Postgraduate Department for their precious lectures, which are partly applied in this study Particularly, I am immensely grateful to Nguyễn Thị Minh Tâm, Dr., whose interesting and useful lectures on semantics and modality have facilitated much my doing the research I am indebted to my friends both at home and abroad for their suggestion, encouragement and enthusiasm in helping me distribute the survey questionnaires and collect information for the study Finally, I owe the completion of this study to my family: my parents, my son, my daughter and my relatives and especially my husband who gave me understanding and encouragement throughout the study ii ABSTRACT Modality is important in academic written discourse as it conveys the writer‟s attitude both to the propositions he/she makes and to the readers According to many researchers, the ability to use modality appropriately contributes significantly to pragmatic aspect in English writing and may reflect an advanced level of both linguistic and pragmatic proficiency in the written mode However, past research has shown that learners of English seem to have difficulty in using modal verbs appropriately Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how Vietnamese learners of English use modal verbs in their writings For this purpose, a collection of 75 pieces of writing from 30 students in grade 10 in an upper high school in Hanoi were analyzed Findings indicated that Vietnamese learners of English not use modal verbs frequently in their writings Besides, they tend to overuse can, should, will and rarely use other modal verbs Based on analysis of the students‟ writings, this study proposed possible reasons that account for these issues The study provided some insights in the use of modal verbs by Vietnamese learners of English as Foreign Language and thus informed teaching of modal verbs in the English classroom and contributed to the academic curricula design iii TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT iii TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale for the study .1 1.2 Aims of the study 1.3 Method of study and research questions 1.3.1 Method of study 1.3.2 Research questions 1.4 Scope of the study .3 1.5 Significance of the study 1.6 Organization of the thesis CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Modality 2.2 Modal Verbs .11 2.3 Studies of modal verbs in writing 17 2.4 Overview of English textbooks of grade 10 currently in use in Vietnam 21 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 24 iv 3.1 The research setting 24 3.1.1 Students 24 3.1.2 Teachers 24 3.1.3 Facilities 25 3.2 The study 25 3.2.1 Research approach 25 3.2.2 Data collections .25 3.2.3 Method of data analysis 26 CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS 28 4.1 Overall counts 28 4.2 The use of can, should, will, may and must .30 4.3 Syntactic Analysis of Students’ Usage of Modals 33 4.4 Misuse of modal verbs .34 CHAPTER 5: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 36 5.1 Summary of research findings 36 5.2 Discussions of the findings .37 5.3 Recommendations for better teaching modal verbs to learners 39 5.3.1 For teachers .39 5.3.2 For textbook designers 40 CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION .42 REFERENCES 44 APPENDIX I v LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 1: Biber et al.’s (1999) description of modal semantic class 13 Table Frequency counts of nine modal verbs in writing corpora 28 Figure A spatial modal tense, aspect and modality (Chung & Temberlake, 1985: 47) Figure Description of modality (Huddleston & Geoffrey, 2002: 175-177) Figure 3: Percentage of modal verbs can, will, should, may, must in corpora 29 vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS BNC: the British National Corpus Conv: Conversation CEFR: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages EFL: English as Foreign Language ELT: English Language Teaching LSWE: the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English L1: first language L2: second language MOET: Ministry of Education and Training VNFLPF: Six- level Foreign Language Proficiency Framework for Vietnam VNU- ULIS: Vietnam National University- University of Languages and International Studies vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale for the study Modality as an important component of linguistics has been extensively studied from syntatic, semantic and pragmatic perspectives The study of modality expressions within linguistics is one of the most complicated problems As Palmer (2003, p 4) says “modality is realized by linguistic terms from a wide range of grammatical classes, covering not only modal auxiliaries and lexical verbs, but also nouns, adjectives, adverbs, idioms, particles, mood and prosody in speech” Even modality is significantly important in academic written discourse as it conveys the writer‟s attitude both to the proposition he/ she makes and to the readers The ability to use modality appropriately also contributes significantly to pragmatic aspect in English writing (Hyland, 1994; Myers, 1989) and may reflect an advanced level of both linguistic and pragmatic proficiency in the written mode (Chen, 2010) However, modal verbs are a challenge to many English language teachers and learners due to its complexity According to Thompson (2002), modals are considered a complex unit and one may not find it easy to put together such intricacy into something that is meaningful to learners If one managed to reduce the complexity of the modals, English language learners may find learning English modals to be less problematic Past research has shown that learners of English seem to have difficulty in using modal verbs appropriately and that they frequently overuse or underpresent certain modal verbs meanings or forms (Hinkel, 1995; DeCarrico, 1986) This leads to the need for an examination of modal verbs and their use by non-native speakers in the specific genre of research articles Besides, the teaching of English language has always been a main concern in Vietnam and and transfer photos to a computer Finally, using a digital camera saves a lot of money because we not have to spend money on photo-film Thạch Smart phone has played a very important role in our lives It is an useful entertaining instrument We can use it to watch movies, play games, surf the web, make phone calls and send messages to each other In addition, the phone also helps us to study Only with the phone connected to the Internet, we can access and surf the web to enlarge knowledge On the Internet there are a lot of different knowledge from literature, theology, history, physics to astronomy and politics Because of the compact , being easy to carry so the phone is loved by almost people We can take it to anywhere and use it any time In short, the phone offers a lot of great benefits Each of us should use it reasonably and efficiently Hân Society is developing day by day, along with it's advanced technology, especially smart phones There are many brands and new phone lines Smart phones have a lot of benefits It is used in communication such as listening, calling, messaging, sending data, more specifically can call video In addition, it helps us relax in free time such as listening to music, watching movies, playing games Besides, it also has the function of providing users with more information via social networking sites, surfing the web or look up the map, the road In addition it also has other entertainment features such as photography, video recording, photo editing Smart phones have a lot of benefits, so we need to use it appropriately so it helps us more in life XIX 10 Lan Today , smartphone is very popular There are some benefits of smart phone which anyone recognizes it First of all, it is mean of useful communication User can make phone calls, send and receive messages easily Secondly, when people feel stress, they can listen to music or play games There are a lot of entertainment programs for people Last but not least, information is found within music note User can surf the web and use maps to look for places To sum up, smartphone is intelligent device, it helps people can work more effectively 11 Thảo I have a smartphone It is black I like it because it has more benifits for communication: it is used to make phone calls, send and receive messages I often use it to relax by listen to music, play games In addition, i also use it to study and search information such as: surf the web, use maps to look for places Besides of benefit, i also face with some troubles It requires me to update regularly It wastes my time and hurt my eyes when using it for too long 12 Thạch Along with the development of science and technology, phones have become intelligent human friends There are countless reasons why smartphones are so important First, the basic benefit of a phone is making communication extremely easy In the past, people had to write letters by hand, now even though they are halfway around the Earth, we can still interact, hear or see each other Next, we can also capture and save memorable moments without the need for a professional camera In our free time, we can use our phones to XX access social networks like facebook, youtube, etc Therefore, the phone has become a close friend of each of us, inseparable 13 Hảo Nowaday, smartphone is very necessary with everyone because it has many benefits About communication, you make phone calls to your friends, your family at any time you want You can see the face of your parents and friends when you video call You can send and recive messages quickly About entertaiment, you can listen to music and play games to relax after a long day for work Besides you can surft the web and facebook, use gg map to look for place Moreover, smartphone has benefits of digital camera It has portable design It is light, small and not bulky It can quick to view and delete photos It is easy to store and transfer photos to a computer So it is no money spent on film 14 Tĩnh A mart phone has a lot of benefits Firstly, I can use it for communication I can use the smart phone to get in touch with my family and my friends I can use it to make phone calls, send and receive messages Besides, a smart phone can be used for entertainment People can use smartphone to listen to music when they are stressed or tired They also can use smart phone to play game to reduce stress A smart phone is also useful for information People can use it to surf the internet Many people use digital maps on the smart phone to look for places XXI 15 Trinh Today, smartphone is a very important electronic device for every person Therefore, it is used very popular in human life It brings a lot of benefits to users such as communication, entertainment and information For communication, users can use it to make calls, send and receive messages In term of entertainment, users can listen to music, play games For information, the smartphone can help you surf the web and use the map to look for places In addition, it also has other small uses such as recording, photography, image editing XXII Topic 4: Write a paragraph of 100 words about things you should to protect environment Hùng I think there are some things eveyone should to protect environment Firstly, you should avoid littering into the environment Secondly, you should limit use plastic bags because they are the most polluting source and very difficult to decompose Thirdly, You ought to plant lots of green plants to create a source of fresh air Finally, You should advice everyone with you protect invironment Invironment is home of everyone so protect it Học Environmental pollution is a very urgent problem today The atmosphere, the water, the natural environment, are all gradually being destroyed That's why we need measures to protect the environment we live in The first is to raise people's awareness by conveying important, good messages about the environment to them The next step is to create and transfer good caves such as garbage collection, planting, limiting plastic bags, to everyone And from now on, I will contribute to environmental protection by limiting the use of plastic bags, recycling boxes, plastic bottles, planting trees, Let's join hands to protect their environment Nam Today,the enviroment is being destroyed by many reasons Therefore, people need to protect the enviroment by any possible way Firstly, the three “R” to conserve natural is : reduce, reuse and recycle We need to try to reduce the plastic rubbish by using paper to cover the food Next, we can reuse the plastic bag and the plastic bottle to contain food and drink The last R is XXIII recycle There are many creative ideas in the world about using recycle materials We should use bamboo straw instead of common straw Moreover people use the recycle rubbish to make fertilizer One of the most simple way that is plant trees because trees is the green lung of the earth Futher more, we should transfer by public transport to reduce the smoke fly into the air Besides, the good way we should that is educate people around us When we futher the own education, we can help others people understand the importance and value of enviroment Hạnh Enviroment is the most important thing for our life A few things we to keep the environment clean and healthy Firstly, we join into group of volunteers to plant trees in the commune Secondly, no littering indiscriminate into enviroment Thirdly, we can use recycled paper to help save trees, try to avoid buying plastics because it‟s hard to recycle Finally, we should take your old clothes to charity shops, some are sold To protect environment we also have to save energy Use less energy by switching off lights when rooms are not in use, not wasting water; don‟t forget to switch off all electric things when they are not in use Trâm Environmental pollution is a hot issue We need measures to protect the environment First we must be aware that we not throw waste into the environment See trash on the way to pick up and put in the right place Second, we not throw garbage into ponds Thirdly, we propagate for the people around us to it together Fourthly, we should use to save the natural curse, use electricity to save, etc There are many other measures to protect the environment In short, environmental protection from awrarable to action XXIV Lê The environment is currently polluted so every person living on this earth needs to have a sense of environmental protection I often call on relatives and friends to throw away their garbage in the prescribed places It can be said that this is the simplest and easiest work that every student can to protect the environment Besides, I often turn off the lights when not in use, planting a lot of trees to help filter dust in the air In addition, I also limit the use of plastic bags and plastic bottles in daily activities Although small actions but great significance Everyone should join hands to protect our clean green environment Mẫu Today, the development of industry causes many negative impacts on the environment We throw waste everywhere, exploit too much natural resources or pollute the air Therefore, our environment is seriously polluted and we need to protect it First of all, we should minimize, reuse and recycle Instead of plastic bags, we can use cloth bags We can recycle plastic bottles, cans and paper to reduce waste Using public transportation and reducing the number of motorbikes and cars are also good ways Most importantly, should advocate about protecting the environment for everyone so they can realize it In particular, we need to punish those who seriously pollute the environment The earth is our home so it is everyone's responsibility to protect it Hân The society is growing, accompanied by the bad effects that are gradually destroying the environment Therefore we need to protect the environment from the smallest actions such as not littering indiscriminately In addition, it XXV is necessary to actively plant more trees, protect wildlife, collect persistent plastic waste Establish unions to propagate and promote campaigns on environmental protection and protection forests, animals For our life, let's protect the environment from now on Lan Today , smartphone is very popular There are some benefits of smart phone which anyone recognizes it First of all, it is mean of useful communication User can make phone calls, send and receive messages easily.Secondly, when people feel stress, they can listen to music or play games There are a lot of entertainment programs for people Last but not least, information is found within music note User can surf the web and use maps to look for places To sum up, smartphone is intelligent device, it helps people can work more effectivelly 10 Thảo Today, environmental pollution is a very urgent and global problem It is the agent that causes the earth to heat up, melting ice and losing the habitat of many species moreover, it causes climate change, is the cause of the greenhouse effect and directly affects our lives Therefore, we need to protect the environment together Stop littering, planting lots of trees, using ecofriendly products Environmental protection is the protection of human life 11 Thạch I often hear in the daily news about pollution, and that makes me conscious of protecting and keeping the environment clean We can protect the Earth by doing small things, and everyone can it Fresh water is a valuable resource, XXVI know how to save water because somewhere on Earth, there are children who don't have clean water to drink Turn on electronics only when needed and always turn them off before leaving Use fans in cool days instead of turning on the air conditioner, use natural light when it's not dark yet limit the use of plastic bags because it takes thousands of years for them to decompose Most importantly, recycle and recycle the gas appliances they have reusable These are small habits that are easily implemented in daily life, and there is no reason that people not protect the Earth 12 Thành Currently, environmental protection is very concerned by the community Polluted environment we need to protect the beautiful green environment As a student, I will throw away waste in accordance with the regulations Classify waste at home Do not litter indiscriminately in the environment Use public transportation to minimize air pollution I will go public to mobilize people to raise awareness about not polluting the environment 13 Hảo As I know, the enviroment is very bad So I think we should raise awareness of environmental protection To protect inviroment, I don‟t use plastic bags I go to school by public transport (bus) to reduce emissions I organize volunteer sessions to collect rubbish such as: “mùa hè xanh”,…we need to protect enviroment as soon as possible 14 Lam As you all know the environment is an important part of our lives Although the environment is currently being destroyed by many factors, the main factor is caused by people.It does not only ruin human lives but also affects on all XXVII living beings So, we need a solution to this problem Firstly, Tell people about the importance of protecting the environment Next, join tree planting trips and plant trees as more as you can Finally, we should reduce the amount of waste 15 Trinh Today, the environment is in serious danger Environmental pollution is increasing Humans are facing many dangers In order to contribute to improving environmental protection, every person needs to be aware of their own role We should plant lots of trees to help regulate the fresh air Do not cut trees, deforest, and cover bare land to avoid soil erosion Do not dump untreated waste into the environment to avoid water pollution limit the use of plastic bags, plastic instead use utensils with biodegradable material XXVIII Topic Write a paragraph of 100 words about electronic devices you use in your study Lộc Normaly, reading book is a traditional tool to get knowledge Also, I usually use some tools like smartphone, laptop and macbook They are useful, fast and easy to use I can easily find information and I also study online with just a laptop or smartphone connected to the internet By using a laptop or a smartphone is connected to internet, I can easily search for information about all the fields and I also study online quickly Nowadays, there are many free document resources on the internet; therefore, the laptop has helped me a lot to access that knowledge Last but not least, I use smartphone or laptop to relax like listening to music, watching movies after stressful studying hours Nam Laptop is one of the most useful electronics device I use to study When I have a laptop, I can write a ducument on word I use the laptop to study English In addition, I also watch film without subtitle on the weekend When I get a difficult exercise, I can use my laptop to search for the solution Laptop is a good friend in my life Hạnh Computer is a electronic devices I use in my study It help me study english, watch movies, read newspapers, many things Besides, I can use payment electricity bills, water bills, video calls, messageing, sending e-mail to anywhere in the world and lost of online activities using the internet I can save documents file off screen and manage it easily Therefore, I can watch movies, listen to music to amusing Computer is a good friend in my life XXIX Anh As a high school student, to me, the laptop is one of the useful tools in learning The laptop helps me find documents for easy learning and exchange and share it with my friends In addition, I can listen to music, watch movies to entertain to help reducing stress, fatigue during learning Thanks to the laptop, I can call my friends and teachers to exchange knowledge and study documents easily without any charge through internet The laptop is very convenient and necessary technological device in today's modern society Trâm Current learning is no longer a problem when learning tools are available Smart learning devices such as smart phones, computers, pocket calculators, etc… are always used Smart mobile phone is more convenient for users It is easy to carry There is a function to find information quickly In addition, it has a calculator to calculate basic calculations quickly Not only that, but it can save information with note-taking apps, photos, etc When learning, it's a device prioritized by its convenient functions Lê Technology has brought about great changes and benefits in the learning environment One of the devices that helped me a lot is Ipad I often use it to look up information and learn online It works like a laptop but is compact and more convenient So, I can take it anywhere and can take notes of special points in the classroom Besides, it helps me to draw and design professionally, which helps a lot for electronics students Not only that, it can also make me relax after stressful studying hours This is truly a great device! XXX Mẫu Laptops are an essential learning tool for students, especially in the period of modern technology development A computer that is simple, compact, easy to move, but has many benefits for everyone, especially for students A computer connected to the internet will help you look up any information in any field, providing all knowledge from the past to the present In addition, it is also used for mental education Entertainment here is not merely playing games but also listening to music, watching movies, Entertainment in useful ways will be very good for learning An internet-connected computer is also useful in learning English, such as looking up a dictionary, practicing listening to online, or downloading online documents about practice Hân Most students have a laptop for me, me too I use it for academic purposes With it, I can research and find materials on websites more quickly I can store text in words, use powerpoint to present lessons, and use excel for work after I graduate Besides, it is also possible to draw and edit photos, videos Besides, I can also learn English online, and use it for fun and relaxation like watching movies, listening to music, playing games The laptop is great and it is really useful in my study and my life Lan When I am first year student, my father bought a smart phone and a laptop for me They are also electronic devices I use in my study I use smartphone to search information for my lessons I use maps on smart phone to look for places when i go out With my laptop, i can learn english, listen to music and work with word , excel That is very great I always use them carefully and clean them everday XXXI 10 Thạch Today, learning through electronic devices is no stranger Laptop are a very important electronic device in learning It helps me look up learning information just online and search as I can have a lot of knowledge of the fields I can type, set up presentations I can study online without going to class just by a computer, all my contacts or assignments I on my computer, I can send my assignments easily My computer can take notes Audio data, photos very long Computers can also perform calculations I find using computers very useful in learning 11 Hồng We should use smart devices to serve learning such as smartphones, laptops, etc All majors need a laptop You can use your laptop to search for information, surf the web, watch movies, listen to music to relax, In particular, we can edit documents, tools of office software It's really convenient to create documents, presentations, give statistics, etc However, there are still inconveniences It's quite bulky, not easy to carry around It has great value So you consider and choose the right learning equipment 12 Thảo Today, smartphones are an extremely popular product It brings a lot of utilities One of them is the learning support feature I often use the phone to replace the caculator and computer in some cases it is small and convernient Besides, I can use it to look up a dictionary when I study a foreign language It also helps me find information very quickly and effectively about the subjects that I need to refer to XXXII 13 Thành Computers are helping me a lot in studying First of all, it helps me to format my lessons effectively I often type my lessons on the computer and format them to make them interesting It makes it possible for me to learn them quickly and review them conveniently I am passionate about learning about power point designs, computers are a useful tool to help me this Next, the computer helps me keep my documents safe for future use I can save the document file off-screen and manage it easily On the other hand, the computer is the most useful friend to help me learn information and knowledge on the internet Thanks to the computer, I often access the internet and learn many things, especially English Computers have made my understanding better day by day and become indispensable for my study 14 Hảo When I study, I need to search some information about something So I use laptop to search It is very necessary with me I can look up the dictionary when I study English I can study online by zoom with my classmates I use calculator when I study Math In short, Laptop is my best choice to study 15 Tĩnh I have a computer to support my study I can use computer to surf information for my study Besides, I also use the computer to learn English I use the computer to listen to audios to improve my English listening skills I also use computer to learn English from websites or youtube Sometimes, I can play game on the computer to relax or reduce stress after long hours of studying XXXIII ... ascertain the frequent use of modal verbs by the grade 10 students in a school in Hanoi in their writings  investigate how grade 10 students in a school in Hanoi use modal verbs in their writings. .. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES VŨ THỊ LAI MODAL VERBS IN ENGLISH AND THEIR USES IN WRITINGS BY 10TH GRADERS AT AN. .. 10th graders? ?? writings in an upper high school in Hanoi It is hoped that the discussion of the use of modal verbs and patterns by grade 10 students could give an understanding of the use of modal
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