Luận văn Thạc sĩ Using authentic materials to improve reading comprehension of english majored students An experimental research project at a college in Nam Đinh

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST - GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* PHẠM THỊ HỒNG HIẾU USING AUTHENTIC MATERIALS TO IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION OF ENGLISH MAJORED STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH PROJECT AT A COLLEGE IN NAM DINH (Sử dụng tài liệu nguyên để phát triển khả đọc hiểu cho sinh viên chuyên ngành Tiếng Anh: nghiên cứu thực nghiệm trường cao đẳng Nam Định) M.A MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field : English Teaching Methodology Code : 8140231.01 HA NOI - 2020 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST - GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* PHẠM THỊ HỒNG HIẾU USING AUTHENTIC MATERIALS TO IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION OF ENGLISH MAJORED STUDENTS: AN EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH PROJECT AT A COLLEGE IN NAM DINH (Sử dụng tài liệu nguyên để phát triển khả đọc hiểu cho sinh viên chuyên ngành Tiếng Anh: nghiên cứu thực nghiệm trường cao đẳng Nam Định) M.A MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field : English Teaching Methodology Code : 8140231.01 Supervisor : Nguyễn Thị Minh Trâm, PhD HA NOI - 2020 DECLARATION I, the undersigned, declare that this thesis is the result of my own research and has not been submitted to any other university of institution partially or wholly Except where the reference is indicated, no other person‟s work has been used without due acknowledgement in text of the thesis Hanoi, 2020 Student Phạm Thị Hồng Hiếu i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support from a number of people First and foremost, I would like to send my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Nguyễn Thị Minh Trâm, Ph.D for her enthusiastic guidance, insightful comments, and valuable support through my research I also would like to thank all of the lecturers of the Department of Post Graduate Studies, Vietnam National University for their useful lectures and materials which are of great value to my thesis Next, I want to show my appreciation for the responsible participation of thirty English majored students at Nam Dinh College of Education where I conducted this study In addition, a special word of thanks goes to all of my colleagues at Faculty of Foreign Languages, Nam Dinh College of Education Without their contribution and support, I would not be able to complete this research Last but not least, I owe my gratitude to my family for their support and encouragement ii ABSTRACT Based on teaching experience at Nam Dinh College of Education (NCE), the researcher has found that English majored students in our college seem to be bored with the reading texts in the course book and unmotivated to learn, and even lack vocabulary and background knowledge of real life Therefore, the present experimental research recruiting 30 second year English majored students at NCE was conducted to explore the effectiveness using authentic materials to improve the students‟ reading comprehension They were then assigned to be an experimental group and a control group (15 students per each) During the treatment of weeks, the experimental group was exposed to authentic materials Pretest and posttest were conducted in a pair sample T-test as means to distinguish the difference of reading comprehension between the two groups Next, follow-up semi-structured interviews were carried out with 15 students from experimental group to investigate their satisfaction level toward the lesson as well as their difficulties in reading the authentic materials The study results emphasized the research hypothesis that authentic materials make significant improvement students‟ reading comprehension Consequently, the findings in this study result in some pedagogical implications for teachers and students to improve students‟ reading comprehension The research might be useful for English language teachers, students as well as researchers iii TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT iii LIST OF TABLES vii LIST OF GRAPHS AND FIGURES vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Rationale for the study Aim of the study and research hypothesis Scope of the study Method of the study Significance of the study Design of the study CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Overview of reading comprehension 2.1.1 Definitions of reading .6 2.1.2 Definitions of reading comprehension 2.1.3 Reading comprehension strategies/skills 2.2 Authentic materials 10 2.2.1 Definitions of authentic materials 10 2.2.2 Types of authentic materials 11 2.2.3 Benefits of authentic materials 13 2.2.4 Drawbacks of authentic materials 14 2.2.5 Criteria for selecting authentic materials 14 2.2.6 Stages of reading .15 2.3 Review of the previous related studies 16 2.4 Summary 18 iv CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 20 3.1 The setting of the study 20 3.2 Research design 20 3.3 Restatement of the research hypothesis .20 3.4 Participants and sampling 21 3.5 Data collection instruments 21 3.5.1 Reading tests 21 3.5.2 Interviews 23 3.6 Data collection procedures 23 3.6.1 The reading tests .23 3.6.2 Interviews 25 3.7 Data analysis procedures 25 3.8 Summary 25 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 27 4.1 Tests 27 4.1.1 Results from pretest .27 4.1.2 Results from posttest .29 4.1.3 Comparison of the results between the control and experimental group 31 4.1.4 Summary 33 4.2 Interview 34 4.2.1 Benefits of using authentic materials 34 4.2.2 Difficulties and suggestions when using authentic materials 38 4.3 Summary 40 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION .42 5.1 Summary of major findings .42 5.2 Implications of the research .43 5.3 Limitations of the study .45 5.4 Suggestions for further studies 45 REFERENCES 47 v APPENDICES I APPENDIX 1: Reading materials I APPENDIX 2: Suggested activities for using authentic materials VI APPENDIX 3: Pretest VIII APPENDIX 4: Posttest XV APPENDIX 5: Interview questions XXIII APPENDIX 6: The results of the control group‟s tests XXIV APPENDIX 7: The results of the experimental group‟s test XXV vi LIST OF TABLES Table 4.1 Descriptive statistics for pretest‟s results 27 Table 4.2 Descriptive Statistics of posttest‟s results 29 Table 4.3 Paired Sample T-test for pretest and posttest results .33 LIST OF GRAPHS AND FIGURES Graph 4.1 Pretest scores .………2Error! Bookmark not defined Graph 4.2 Posttest scores Error! Bookmark not defined Graph 4.3 Pretest and Posttest scores Error! Bookmark not defined Figure 4.1 Students‟ difficulties when reading authentic materials 38 vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Rationale for the study Nowadays, globalization has become an essential part in the development of every country Together with this is the change in the status of English It is obvious that English is the most widely-used language all over the world since it appears in all fields of life Therefore, it is not surprising that English is considered international or global language, in which reading comprehension is one of the most important factors in English language learning for all students because it is the basis of instruction in all aspects of language learning (Mikulecky, 2008) Particularly, the ability to read efficiently is critical for successful academic pursuit among students (Alvermann, 2002; Bernhardt, 2011; Grabe, 2010) As asserted by Guthrie (2004), reading is the window to all knowledge In other words, reading is the most important skill to master out of the four skills in a second language (Alvermann & Earle, 2003; Bernhardt, 2011) Reading is one of the most important aspects of most English language teaching programs, but it can also be one of the toughest for teachers and students Preparing for, understanding and assessing reading can all be a challenge Nevertheless, it has been found in previous studies that the application of authentic materials in reading process is considered one of the most effective ways to widen students‟ reading ability and their knowledge of real life Nuttall (1996) commented that authentic-based materials can be motivating because they are proof that the language is used for real-life purpose by real people The difference is not in the language materials themselves but rather on their outcomes and their effectiveness Learners feel that they are learning a target language as it is used outside the classroom Authentic materials contain topics of interest to students and encourage reading for pleasure, and they are practical and real because they provide valid linguistic data (Martinez, 2002; Peacock, 1997) Berardo (2006) stated that “authentic materials enable learners to interact with the real language and content IV Look at seven signs below What does each sign mean? Answer the question by choosing a, b, c, or d (1.75 ps) a Dogs must wait outside Sorry No dogs allowed unless carried b Dogs must not walk with their owners c Dogs must be kept on a chain d Dogs must be held a Everything is cheaper this week All prices reduced this week b No extra charges next week c Usual prices this week d Cheaper prices next week a You can send your groceries from here We can deliver your groceries b You can store your groceries here c You can get your free groceries here d You can have your groceries sent to you a Cleaning now costs twice as much Two cleaned jackets for the price of one b Cleaning costs are now cheaper c Cleaning costs are going up d Cleaning costs will stay the same Parking in this space for doctor on duty only a You can park here if you are visiting the doctor b Tell the doctor if you need to park here c Only the doctor working today can park here d Park in this space only in an emergency XI a This shop will sell customers' watches within WATCH REPAIRS Warning to Customers All uncollected items will be sold after twelve months twelve months b This shop will keep customers' watches for up to twelve months c This shop will look after customers' watches for more than twelve months Lift services starts at a It is not possible to use the lift above the ground ground floor today For floor today basement please use the b The lift will not be going to the basement today stairs c The stairs between the basement and the ground floor are closed today V The people below in 1-5 are all looking for a place to go on holiday Look at the descriptions of eight places (A-H) Decide which place would be most suitable for each person (1.25 ps) A) Catalonia Baobab Travel This is an incredible family adventure holiday full of discovery, nature and activity, for fun seeking families wanting an amazing adventure close to home From the mountain to the coast, Catalonia offers a beautiful and diverse location for this incredible multi-activity holiday B) DVT Dive Worldwide With resorts around the Canary Islands, we have a variety of great scuba diving sites for you to choose from We are all professional divers ourselves and understand what makes a perfect diving holiday DVT dive centres are available for adults and children 12 years and above XII C) Jana Holidays Ecuador and Colombia Experience Ecuador and Colombia in under weeks A mixture of Andean landscapes, colonial cities, coffee zone and welcoming locals Begin in Bogota where our local guides can take you on a walking tour to La Candelaria to explore beautifully preserved colonial buildings and other important sites D) Virgin Travel Multi-destination holidays The beauty of a multi-centre holiday is that it allows you to fit more of what you love into a single trip You can shop yourself in Los Angeles, then unwind on the beach in Florida It's the perfect opportunity for anybody who wants a jam-packed trip E) Absolute Travel The Spanish Pyrenees A multi activity adventure holiday in Spain that will see you explore the Spanish Pyrenees with a number of guided tours – walking, climbing, rafting and canyoning We'll also visit Zaragoza which is a treasure trove of cultural and historical gems Tourists will find many magnificent buildings and ancient Roman ruins F) Escape Holidays Aussie The best way to get a good deal in this tropical paradise is through a dream package holiday that bundles accommodation with airfares, meals and activities The beaches in Sydney are beautiful, with the world-famous Bondi Beach just a short bus ride from the city centre G) First Choice Spas - Costa del Sol & Andalucia There are eight classic spas in lovely natural surroundings in Andalucía Most of them are near or in beautiful villages and are located at the source of natural spring waters Beauty treatments include a range of scrubs, masks, peels, wraps and XIII massages H) Carnar Diving & Watersports Snorkeling Holidays The crystal clear waters of the Caribbean offer many snorkeling opportunities, including the dive sites of the Bahamas Between July and November, huge numbers of tiger sharks gather of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, providing snorkelers with the opportunity to see one of the most amazing marine life events on earth Alan and Mike would like to spend some time in a seaside town where they can water sports and be taught some basic diving using an air tank Jim is studying architecture and prefers holidays where he can follow this interest He also wants to try some thrilling outdoor activity Sue needs a rest after working hard, but she wouldn't like to go to the seaside She wants to find a holiday that combines opportunities to meet friendly people and visit more than one country Alice wants to go on a short break which will give her the opportunity to relax and think about her appearance and her health Rahul would like to travel in Australia but he has very little money He wants somewhere with a good beach and a lot of activities -THE END - XIV APPENDIX Full name: …………………………………………………………………………… Posttest Time allowed: 90’ I Read the following passage and the task followed (2.5 ps) Job sharing: Half a job is better than none The social effects of job-sharing are likely to be beneficial, since it attempts to match work opportunities to a wider variety of lifestyles The combination of one full-time and one part-time spouse might become much more common: which was the husband and which was the wife would vary according to taste, time of life and career requirements What exactly is job-sharing? The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) defines it as “a form of part-time employment where two people voluntarily share the responsibility of one full-time position.” Salary and benefits are divided between the two sharers Each person‟s terms and conditions of employment are the same as those of a full-timer If each works at least 15 hours a week, then they enjoy certain employment rights that ordinary part-time workers not have Part-timers usually earn less per hour than full-timers; have fewer benefits and less job security They have virtually no career prospects Employers often think that working part-time means that a person has no ambitions and so offer no chance of promotion But job-sharing bridges the gap and offers the chance of interesting work to people who can only work part-time and that does not mean just married women As Adrienne Broyle of “New Ways to Work” – formally the London Job-Sharing Project - points out: “There are various reasons why people decide they want to jobshare and so have more free time.” “A growing number of men want to job-share so that they can play an active role in bringing up children It allows people to study at home in their free time, and means that disabled people or those who otherwise stay at home to look after them, XV can work Job-sharing is also an ideal way for people to ease into retirement.” Many employers are careful of new work schemes, but a survey carried out by the EOC shows that they can profit in various ways from sharing If one sharer is away sick, at least half the job continues to be done Skilled workers who cannot work full time can bring years of experience to a job One job-sharer in the EOC survey said that, “Both I and my job- sharer at least one and a half times the hours of work we paid for Half-timers have to work flat out without a tea break.” Another attraction is that two people bring to one job twice as much experience, sets of ideas and discussion At best, two workers can complement one another‟s skills But there are financial pitfalls for the job-sharers - If you become unemployed, you should be eligible for Unemployment Benefit But you have to sign on as being available for full-time work So, those who chose to job-share because they could not work full-time cannot claim the benefit unless they are prepared to sign on for full-time unemployment - Pensions are a big stumbling block Many job-sharers may be ineligible to join company pension schemes The EOC paper points out that the Local Government Scheme excludes people who work under 30 hours a week - Those who are attracted to job-sharing as a way of easing into retirement, beware Most occupational pension schemes are based either on the average annual earnings during membership of the scheme, or on the employees‟ final salary In the latter case, it could mean that a person who has worked for 15 hours full-time, and job-sharers for the next five years for the same firm, will receive very much smaller pension than if he or she had worked those last five years full-time Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F) Job-sharers volunteer to share the responsibility of one full-time job Job sharing makes people more occupied The job-sharers may enjoy employment rights which common part-timers not have XVI Job sharing contains one full-time and one part-time spouse Not qualifying for any benefits is one of disadvantages part-timers have Part-timers are not considered ambitious, but they will still be promoted Full-timers usually earn less per hour than part-timers; have fewer benefits and less job security People who work under 30 hours a week may be dismissed the Local Government Scheme The job will still be continued even if a sharer is off due to bad health 10 A shortcoming of job sharing is that you have to wait longer for retirement II Give the correct form of the words in the brackets (1.75 ps) Edith Piaf was .not only for her magnificent voice but also for her black dress.(fame) The children were very when their mother was out (noise) Try not to become a man of but a man of value (succeed) Don't worry about as long as you are ready to try again (fail) “The population of the world has rapidly in the last decade,” the CIHRS said (increase) Some old laws are no longer …….(effect) My greatest …….was graduating from the university (achieve) III Fill in each gap with the most suitable word (2.75 ps) Nearly 450,000 businesses are started in Britain (1) year One third (2) these stops trading during the first three years Starting a business is never easy (3) _so many things are outside your control If you are thinking about working for yourself, you (4) start by thinking about the qualities you need to (5) a business Be hard with yourself If you have a weakness, it is better to find out now (6) than later when your business could be in danger Ask yourself (7) you are a good organizer Is your health (8) ? Are you good (9) _making decisions? Do you have any practical experience of the business you want to start? XVII Are you prepared to work long hours for very (10) money? If you can't (11) _'yes' to most of these questions, perhaps you should think again about starting up in business on your own a every b this c last d one a from b of c among d.in a however b but c because d although 4.a have b ought c need d must a run b make c d set 6.a more b rather c earlier d quicker 7.a which b how c whether d that 8.a fine b firm c well d good 9.a at b for c in d with 10.a short b little c low d few 11.a give b report c answer d put IV Look at seven signs below What does each sign mean? Answer the question by choosing a, b, c, or d (1.75 ps) a Patients can only park here with permission b This car park is for ambulances only c This car park is for patients only d Patients can only use this car park in emergencies Ten percent off Tickets booked today a Tickets reserved today are cheaper b There are only ten tickets left c Some of our tickets are cheaper today d Buy ten tickets and get one free XVIII Why not order your interval drinks before a You must finish your drink before you go into the concert b You can order drinks for the interval before you the concert? go in c You cannot have a drink in the interval if you have not ordered it d You can get drinks both before and after the concert Mr Hawksley‟s class is cancelled today as a There will be an extra class for Mr Hawksley's students today b Tell Mr Hawksley if you cannot come to class he is ill c Do not come to class if you are feeling ill d There is no class today because of Mr Hawksley's illness This shop closes for lunch everyday except Friday when we are open all day a This shop closes early on Friday b We not serve lunch on Fridays c We will not be open next Friday lunchtime d This shop doesn't close for lunch on Fridays Please think about other users of gym when playing the music system a The members of the gym think the music system is very useful b When using the music system in the gym, please remember to switch it off c If you put on some music, consider the other people in XIX the gym Nothing of value a Valuable objects are removed at night is left in this van at b Valuables should not be left in the van c This van is locked at night night V The people below are all looking for a place to stay while they are on holiday in Torquay, a busy town in the south of England Read about types of accommodation Decide which accommodation would be most suitable for each person (1.25 ps) A Peace Haven Located right on the sea front, our hostel is popular with surfers Plenty of parking and storage for equipment Drying room and laundry Prepare your own meals in our large kitchen, or eat out at one of the many seafood restaurants nearby Accommodation is in shared male and female dormitories B Palm Court Just a five minute walk from the beach, Palm Court Caravan Park is perfect for families Kids will love the adventure playground and heated pool with its slides and wave machine Entertainers perform twice a week For parents, there‟s a hot tub and bar A babysitting service is also available in the evenings C Diana and Arturo’s Get creative in our quiet guest house in the hills Enjoy sea views without the crowds Diana teaches courses in sculpture, and Arturo runs painting classes Come for one night or stay for a month! Guests who stay here say they love meeting new people and enjoying our huge evening meals XX on the terrace Over 16s only D Dolphin Hotel Its central location makes Dolphin Hotel a great place to stay if you want to experience the best of Torquay The harbour, with its bars, nightclubs and restaurants, is on our doorstep The shops and train station are just around the corner Our bar is open from 7pm and we serve breakfast until midday – perfect if you‟ve had a late night! E Holly Tree Farm Experience country living at Holly Tree farm We have five cottages to rent, each with between and beds Rent one or two cottages, or rent all five if you have a large party (of up to 21 people) Children will enjoy feeding the lambs and chickens Please note, this is a working farm, and entry to some areas is not allowed F Surf World At Surf World, we have everything you need for a fun-packed holiday for all the family You won‟t even have to leave our gates to try amazing new sports, like canoeing, archery and windsurfing On wet days, come to the Fun Centre and enjoy indoor activities like art, music, drama and dance Accommodation in woodland cabins of 2-8 people G Green Cross Green Cross is a 400-year old cottage in the hills The beautiful cottage has a large garden with a play area, barbecue and sea views Accommodation includes one double bedroom and a twin room There is a village pub and shop less than a mile away Perfect for families who want a bit of peace and quiet H The Art House The Art House is a bit different! All eight double rooms are furnished in the different artistic styles The Art Deco room, for example, is decorated with theatrical glass furniture, mirrors and fur, while the 1960s room is fun and colourful, and has pop art on the walls The Art House offers bed and breakfast accommodation on the edge of town, walking distance from the beach XXI Debbie is a teacher She is married with three children She would like to go somewhere where her children have plenty to She‟d also like to go out to a restaurant one evening alone with her husband Frances doesn‟t have anyone to go on holiday with, so she‟d like to meet people while she‟s on holiday She likes art and dislikes crowds Ben and his friends enjoy water sports They want to find a place to stay near the beach They don‟t have much money, so they‟d prefer to cook for themselves to keep costs down Dan is planning to spend his holiday with his wife, his parents and his sister‟s family They would like peace and quiet, so they don‟t want to be near lots of other noisy families Kerry is getting married soon, so she and her girlfriends want to spend a weekend by the sea They plan to stay out late and get up late They want a convenient location as they don‟t have their own transport -THE END - XXII APPENDIX Interview questions What you think about using authentic materials in reading lessons? Do you think authentic materials help you improve your reading comprehension? Which reading comprehension skills you develop best with authentic materials? (Hint: reading for details, main ideas, gap-filling, word forms, reading postcards, etc.) Do you have any difficulties when reading authentic materials? If yes, what are they? What is your opinion of integrating authentic materials in reading lessons in the future? XXIII APPENDIX The results of the control group's tests STT Pretest Posttest 7 4 6 6 7 8 5 10 11 12 13 14 7 15 8 XXIV APPENDIX The results of the experimental group's tests STT Pretest Posttest 6 5 5 7 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 8 XXV ... these advantages and disadvantages of using authentic materials, the advantages surpass the disadvantages as long as teachers invest time and take thorough considerations to choose appropriate authentic. .. needs and what skills they need to cope 2.2 Authentic materials 2.2.1 Definitions of authentic materials Thanks to the rise of communicative approach, the application of authentic materials in language... collects both quantitative and qualitative data to investigate the effectiveness of using authentic materials on developing students? ?? reading comprehension The quantitative data was clearly presented
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