0

Luận văn thạc sĩ exploring non english major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in vietnam

61 1 0
  • Luận văn thạc sĩ exploring non english major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in vietnam

Tài liệu hạn chế xem trước, để xem đầy đủ mời bạn chọn Tải xuống

Tài liệu liên quan

Thông tin tài liệu

Ngày đăng: 25/11/2021, 14:00

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST-GRADUATE STUDIES PHẠM THỊ NGỌC THANH EXPLORING NON-ENGLISH MAJOR STUDENTS’ AND TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF SILENCE IN TERTIARY EFL CLASSROOMS IN VIETNAM (Tìm hiểu góc nhìn sinh viên không chuyên giáo viên im lặng lớp học tiếng Anh trường đại học Việt Nam) M.A MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS Field: English Teaching Methodology Code: 8140231.01 HÀ NỘI - 2020 i DECLARATION I hereby certify that the thesis entitled “Exploring non-English major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in Vietnam” was carried out and submitted in partial fulfilment of the Degree of Master of Arts at the Faculty of Post-Graduate Studies, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi I also declare that this work is original and all the names of researchers and their research mentioned in this paper were comprehensively cited and listed in the Reference ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, I would like to express my profound gratitude and regard to my devoted supervisor, Dr Hoàng Thị Hạnh, for her very detailed and enthusiastic guidance and constant feedback on every single part of my graduation paper Her great support was the motivation for me to try my best in completing this paper Without her help and guidance, I would not have been able to finish this research paper Next, I want to give my sincere thank to my beloved family members who have always given me great encouragement from the first days when I started my Master course I am also very grateful to receive support from my uncles, aunts and my friends who were always willing to help me during my process of writing this paper Finally, I want to show my appreciation for the responsible participation of all the teachers and students at the university in Hai Phong city where I conducted this study Without their contribution and support, I would not be able to complete this research iii ABSTRACT This paper explores the perceptions of both non-English major students and their English teachers on students‟ silence during teacher-student interactions in English lessons at tertiary level Qualitative research design was employed with data collected from classroom observations, retrospective interviews and semi-structured debriefing sessions, and with the participation of 91 non-English major students and their four English teachers The findings reveal that students‟ silence is not always a barrier to learning Students can actively choose to keep silent as it is their learning style and habit, or in order to facilitate their learning by interpreting learning materials, retrieving and recalling knowledge, enhancing their own works and listening to learn from others Silence that hinders the learning process is found to be associated with different intertwining factors including cultural, competence factor, affectional and contextual factors relating to learning environment, teacher and peers Interestingly, teachers were found to better understand students‟ silence and contributing factors to it when they observed and commented on students‟ silence during the retrospective interview This research findings suggest that English teachers be sensitive in interpreting students‟ silence, listen to their voice to reduce passive silence, appropriately utilize lessons‟ time to support students‟ silence for learning purposes, and devise more effective activities to scaffold students‟ learning and facilitate more active class interaction iv LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES List of tables: Table 3.1: The Descriptions of English Teachers in Observations Table 3.2: The Descriptions of Students in Observations Table 3.3: The Descriptions of Students in Interviews Table 3.4: The Descriptions of Teachers in Interviews Table 3.5: The coding scheme List of figures: Figure 3.1: Phases in data collection procedure v TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION .i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii ABSTRACT iv LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES v CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study 1.2 Aims and objectives of the study 1.3 Research questions 1.4 Significance of the study 1.5 Scope of the study 1.6 Organization of the study CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Interaction in EFL classrooms 2.2 Factors relating to the effectiveness of EFL classroom interaction 2.3 Silence phenomenon during classroom interaction 2.4 Perception of students’ silence in classroom interactions 2.4.1 Teachers‟ perception of students‟ silence 2.4.2 Students perceptions of students‟ silence 2.5 Related studies on silence in classroom interaction and research gap CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1 Research participants vi 3.1.1 The selection of participants 3.1.2 Descriptions of the participants 3.2 Data collection instruments 10 3.2.1 Observation and audio-visual recording 10 3.2.2 Video stimulated recall interview 11 3.2.3 Semi-structured interview 12 3.3 Data collection procedure 12 3.4 Data analysis methods and procedure 14 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 16 4.1 Students’ perception of silence 16 4.2 Teachers’ perception of students’ silence 29 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION 41 5.1 Summary of major findings 41 5.2 Implications of the research 42 5.3 Limitations of the research 43 5.4 Suggestions for further studies 44 REFERENCES 45 APPENDICES 49 vii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study In English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom environment, interaction constitutes an integral part of the learning process as it fosters students‟ linguistic and communicative competence by providing them opportunities to practice the targeted language (Yu, 2008) This means that the lack of opportunities to communicate in these classroom settings might become a barrier to students‟ language development Thus, silence, which refers to the absence of talk and limited interaction in classroom contexts (White & Smith, 1996), could be considered as an obstacle to the English learners‟ language learning process It has been found in previous studies that students‟ silence does exist in classroom interactions (Schultz, 2012; Bao, 2013; Santosa & Mardiana, 2018) Silence is a complicated classroom phenomenon and carries multiple meanings because it is influenced by numerous factors such as student factor, teacher factor, cultural factor (Yu, 2016), syllabus and classroom factors (Bao, 2013), subject content and classmate factors (Nguyen, 2015) Hence, observers, teachers, classmates and students themselves may have different perspectives about the meanings or functions of students‟ silence in classrooms Consequently, construing such classroom phenomenon is a challenging task which requires more in-depth investigation into the perceptions of all participants Asian learners, in English classrooms, tend to remain silent and not willing to answer questions or express ideas during class activities (Bao, 2013; Nguyen, 2015; Yu, 2016; Han, 2016) Vietnamese students have the same tendency during classroom interactions (Yates & Trang, 2012; Nguyen, 2015) In the EFL teaching contexts of Vietnam, where communicative language teaching (CLT) principles have been encouraged (Mai, 2017), such shortage of interaction in English classes is seen as problematic However, the question of whether such silence only demonstrates the intentionally limited participation or it also holds other meanings and functions is still left unanswered Therefore, it is crucial to carry out studies to further examine and to better understand the silence phenomenon in English lessons in Vietnam This paves the way for the researcher to conduct research to investigate how students‟ silence is perceived by the students themselves and their English teachers during tertiary EFL classroom interactions 1.2 Aims and objectives of the study The study aims at probing the perceptions of students and teachers about silence during EFL classroom interaction at tertiary level in Vietnam These overall aims are specified into the following objectives: + To investigate non-English major students‟ perception of silence during classroom interaction + To investigate English teachers‟ perception of their student‟s silence during classroom interaction 1.3 Research questions The aforementioned objectives are expected to be achieved through answering the following research questions: How the students perceive their silence during classroom interaction? How is their silence perceived by the teachers during classroom interaction? 1.4 Significance of the study The study is carried out, firstly, to provide cognizance of how students‟ silence is demonstrated during teacher-student interactions in English classes at university level in Vietnam and how its meanings and functions are perceived by the students themselves and their English teachers Next, for pre-service and in-service English teachers, the outcomes of this research might be a useful reference material for them to understand more about their students and can compare their understanding with perceptions of other teachers and students of silence in class Finally, after being did not seem to have any effort to break such silence or to reduce the factors that may have caused this passive silence It seemed that only after watching the video lessons again, teachers could realize these reasons In addition, though teacher could find out reasons relating to their students‟ silence, not all teachers could recognize that their teaching methods and classroom management could also be influential factors affecting students‟ choice to remain silent or to speak up Next, at certain moments in class, teachers misunderstood the real reasons behind students‟ silence Such misinterpretation might have led to their inappropriate ways of dealing with inactive silence inhibiting learners‟ learning This misunderstanding of teachers might also prevent students from having time to process cognitive activity and prepare for answer because teachers could not recognize students‟ active positive silence to give them enough wait time This finding is similar to what is investigated in Hoang and Filipi (2016) through conversation analysis in Vietnam tertiary classrooms Teachers were also found to prefer to manage classroom by using their power to decide students‟ chance to speaking in class Students were not encouraged to say anything aloud without permission Such way of placing students and teachers in a hierarchy might have trained students to have a passive learning habit of keeping silent As a result, students might gradually forget their active contributing role in the lessons and their opportunities to communicate in English lessons might be gradually reduced and even inhibited Moreover, such preferable learning environment in the perceptions of teachers was found to be problematic to students, especially those who hoped to speak up and orally participate in lessons When considering certain situations in class, the teachers‟ perceptions of learners‟ silence were not always the same as students‟ perceptions Nonetheless, after a period of time of watching the video lessons in the retrospective interviews, teachers‟ perceptions did have certain changes This indicates that teachers could interpret students‟ silence better after considering and observing students‟ behaviours through 39 recorded videos more carefully and understanding more about learners‟ individual problems and learning styles 40 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION 5.1 Summary of major findings The research highlights the perceptions of teachers and students about students‟ silence in English lessons at tertiary level in Vietnam It also demonstrates how silence was used by students and how teacher‟s perceptions of students‟ silence might influence students‟ learning This study has found the answers for the following questions: How the students perceive their silence during classroom interaction? How is their silence perceived by the teachers during classroom interaction? The empirical findings of this research will be synthesized to give answers for the above two questions respectively and related theories will be revisited in this part of the paper Students‟ silence was investigated and classified into two types namely active silence and passive silence Active silence was used when students actively chose to keep silent because that was their learning style, habit and characteristics, or because they were in their learning mode They actively kept silent in order to have time for processing given information and they did not feel constrained or uncomfortable with those silent moments On the contrary, students‟ silence became passive when various factors prevented them from speaking up to contribute to the lesson These might relate to cultural, contextual, competent factors or teacher‟s teaching methods Teacher‟s ways of understanding students‟ silence were sometimes similar and sometimes contrastive to what students were thinking Nonetheless, after observing students‟ irresponsive behaviours attentively and considering carefully, teachers in this research could interpret students‟ silence more correctly and found out appropriate implications for themselves First, teachers perceived some students‟ silence as active for learning purposes It was also found that a good student might actively choose to keep silent as a learning style and to be engaged in their learning mode However, such silence might become negative passive silence if the teacher‟s teaching methods and 41 activities were not appropriate and engaging enough On the contrary, if the students were not competent enough, their silence might mainly relate to their limited knowledge and the insecure feelings Next, teachers were able to find out factors contributing to students‟ silence namely limited competence, face-saving strategy and learning style but during lessons, teachers did not seem to have any effort to break such silence Besides, teachers sometimes misunderstood the real reasons behind students‟ silence Such misinterpretation might have led to their inappropriate ways of dealing with inactive silence inhibiting learners‟ learning Teachers were also found to prefer to manage classroom by using their power to decide students‟ chance to speaking in class When considering certain situations in class, the teachers‟ perceptions of learners‟ silence were not always the same as students‟ perceptions Nevertheless, after a period of time of watching the video lessons in the retrospective interviews, teachers‟ perceptions did have certain changes 5.2 Implications of the research Overall, the research might be useful for university teachers teaching English to non-major students, expatriate teachers as well as researchers who are working on related studies With regard to university English teachers, this study can be a helpful source of knowledge which provide more understandings about students‟ silence and to what extent teachers‟ perceptions are similar to students‟ perspectives about silence With such understandings, teacher might know when to leave students time to process information and when to break their negative silence English teachers might need to be more flexible and creative in delivering knowledge so that students would not be distracted and will be encouraged in orally participating in lessons Besides, teachers should be sensitive in interpreting students‟ silence and listening to students‟ voice to discover potential factors that might inhibit students from talking so that they can prepare lessons better and provide students more chance to practice in meaningful interactive English lessons In addition, teachers should avoid actions that force students to keep silent or train them the habit of saying nothing until being called up, and avoid using activities such as repeatedly asking a lot of questions, using the same 42 activity throughout the lesson Teachers should also use questioning techniques appropriately so that they can encourage learners to negotiate meaning and involve more in classroom communication This can unintentionally cause passive silence or create a habit of remaining silent until being called up, which might be negative to learners‟ foreign language learning process With careful consideration and efforts in understanding students‟ silence, teacher would be able to devise more effective activities to scaffold students‟ learning and facilitate more active class interaction in English classrooms For expatriate English teachers who intend to teach English at universities of Vietnam, the outcome of this research might be a source of reference if they hope to understand more about the way Vietnamese university students use and perceive silence and know how Vietnamese teachers perceive and deal with such silence From this, these expatriate teachers might adapt more easily to the differences between education environments in Vietnam and in their country Moreover, they can learn how to interpret silence of Vietnamese students appropriately and avoid misunderstanding such silence as usual negative ones This paper is also anticipated to serve as a reliable source of information for researchers who share the same interest in this topic of silence and perceptions of students and teachers on such silence in classroom environment The outcomes of this research might be a useful reference source for them in their further studies 5.3 Limitations of the research Despite considerable attempts of the researcher, there are still a number of limitations that can be detected due to the limitation of time and other factors First of all, the limited number of participants in this research could not be adequate to build up an entire complicated picture of students‟ silence in English classrooms at tertiary levels Additionally, this study was conducted at only one university in a province outside Hanoi, its results might not be generalizable to other university contexts 43 5.4 Suggestions for further studies The fact that there have been a limited number of studies on silence in English classroom interaction in Vietnam offers other researchers a large room to conduct further studies For instance, a study on Vietnamese teachers‟ silence or their ways of using silence, on students‟ perceptions of teachers‟ using silence or on comparing students‟ silence of all levels might be undertaken with a wider range of participants in Vietnam Focusing more on students‟ silence, further research might concentrate on ways to recognize positive and negative silence of learners in class Moreover, it is recommended for future researchers to conduct research on how to encourage positive silence and avoid possible factors that prohibit students from orally participating in classroom interaction in Vietnam 44 REFERENCES Al-Zahrani, M Y., & Al-Bargi, A (2017) The Impact of Teacher Questioning on Creating Interaction in EFL: A Discourse Analysis English Language Teaching, 10(6), 135-150 Bao, D (2013) Voices of the reticent? Getting inside views of Vietnamese secondary students on learning In M Cortazzi & L Jin, Researching cultures of learning: International perspectives on language learning and education (pp 136 - 154) Basingstoke HAM UK: Palgrave Macmillan Bao, D (2014) Understanding silence and reticence: Ways of participating in second language acquisition A&C Black Bista, K (2012) Silence in teaching and learning: Perspectives of a Nepalese graduate student College Teaching, 60(2), 76-82 Brown, H D (2000) Principles of language learning and teaching (Vol 4) New York: Longman Clarke, D (2001) Perspectives on practice and meaning in mathematics and science classrooms Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press Cohen, L., Manion, L & Morrison, K (2000) Research methods in education (5th ed.) London: Routledge Falmer Ellis, R., & Barkhuizen, G P (2005) Analysing learner language Oxford: Oxford University Press Gass, S., & Mackey, A (2000) Stimulated recall methodology in second language research New Jersey: Mahwah Ghavamnia, M., & Ketabi, S (2013) Voices from the voiceless: Iranian EFL students' attitudes toward English Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching doi:10.1080/17501229.2013.849708 45 Good, T L., Slavings, R L., Harel, K H., & Emerson, H (1987) Student passivity: A study of question asking in K-12 classrooms Sociology of Education, 181-199 Han, M (2016) A study on silence phenomenon in college English classroom International Journal of Education and Research, 4(6), 451-458 Harmer, J (2001) The practice of English language teaching Longman Harumi, S (2010) Classroom silence: Voices from Japanese EFL learners ELT journal, 65(3) Hoang, T L G., & Filipi, A (2016) In pursuit of understanding and response: a micro-analysis of language alternation practices in an EFL university context in Vietnam The Language Learning Journal, 1-14 Hoang, T H., & Pham, T N T (2019) Hierarchy in high school English classrooms in Vietnam: Power relationships and learning opportunities In R Chowdhury & L Yazdanpanah, Identity, equity and social justice in Asia Pacific education (pp 137-155) Victoria: Monash University Publishing Hofstede Centre (n.d) Vietnam - Geert Hofstede Geert-hofstede.com Retrieved 23 January 2015, from http://geert-hofstede.com/vietnam.html Hu, Y & Fell-Eisenkraft, S (2003) Immigrant Chinese students' use of silence in the language arts classroom: perceptions, reflections, and actions Teaching and Learning, 17(2), 55-65 Jaworski, A., & Sachdev, I (1998) Beliefs about silence in the classroom Language and Education, 12(4) Johannesen, R (1974) The functions of silence: A plea for communication research Western Speech, 38(1), 25-35 doi: 10.1080/10570317409373806 King, J (2013) Silence in the second language classroom Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan Lensmire, T J (2010) Powerful writing, responsible teaching New York, NY: Teachers College Press 46 Liu, M., Zhang, W., & Lu, Z (2011) Reticence and anxiety in Chinese university ESP poetry class: A case study Journal of Languages and Culture, 2(2) Loewen, S., & Sato, M (2018) Interaction and instructed second language acquisition Language Teaching, 51(3), 285-329 Mackey, A., & Gass, S (2005) Second language research methodology and design New Jersey: Mahwah Mai, H T N (2017) Contextual factors affecting the implementation of communicative language teaching in Vietnam EFL Journal, 2(2), 103-113 Meyer, K R., & Hunt, S K (2011) Rethinking evaluation strategies for student participation Basic Communication Course Annual, 23(1), Miles, M., & Huberman, M (1992) Qualitative data analysis Jakarta: UI Press Nakane, I (2007) Silence in intercultural communication Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company Nguyen, T (2015) Decoding EFL learners‟ in-class silence In 6th International Conference on TESOL Ho Chi Minh: Curtin University Nguyen, T (2002) Vietnam: Cultural background for ESL/EFL teachers The Review of Vietnamese Studies, 2(1), 1-6 Nguyen, T., McFadden, A., Tangen, D., & Beutel, D (2013) Video-stimulated recall interviews in qualitative research Adelaide: Joint AARE Conference O' Brien, J (1993) Action research through stimulated recall Research in Science Education, 23 Ollin, R (2008) Silent pedagogy and rethinking classroom practice: structuring teaching through silence rather than talk Cambridge Journal of Education, 38(2), 265-280 Qashoa, S H (2013) Effects of teacher question types and syntactic structures on EFL classroom interaction The International Journal of Social Sciences, 7(1), 52-62 47 Remedios, L., Clark, D and Hawthorne, L (2008), „The silent participant in small group collaborative learning contexts‟ Active Learning In Higher Education, 9(3), 201–16 Santosa, B., & Mardiana, R (2018) English learners‟ perspective on culture and silence in an EFL university classroom International Journal Of English Language Teaching, 6(8), 18-24 Schultz, K (2012) Backtalk: The fullness of silence in the classroom Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 80 Spencer-Oatey, H & Xing, J (2005) Managing talk and non-talk in intercultural interactions: Insights from two Chinese-British business meetings Multilingual, 24, 55–74 Walsh, S (2011) Exploring classroom discourse: Language in action Taylor & Francis White, C., & Smith, C S (1996) Voices of collegiate woman: Silence as a pattern of woman’s participation in an undergraduate classroom UMI Wilang, J (2017) Silence of Japanese students in a Thai EFL context In 19th English in South-East Asia Conference Bangkok Wortham, S (2004) The interdependence of social identification and learning American Educational Research Journal, 41(3), 715-750 Yates, L & Trang, N.T.Q (2012) Beyond a discourse of deficit: The meaning of silence in the international classroom International Education Journal 11(1), 22-34 Yu, R (2008) Interaction in EFL classes Asian Social Science, 4(4), 48 Yu, Z (2016) The analysis about the factors of silence in college English Classroom Studies in Literature and Language, 12(5) 48 APPENDICES APPENDIX 1: OBSERVATION CONSENT FORM This is hereby certified that My name is , Currently a lecturer at , voluntarily accept the request of Ms Pham Thi Ngoc Thanh to observe and video record my English lessons for the purpose of getting data for a research entitled: Exploring non-English major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in Vietnam” I understand that:  All of my personal information and my students‟ will be confidentially kept  The data from observation and video recording will only be used for research purposes  My identity and my students‟ will be coded during the data analysis process My option for video-recording my lesson is: □ Agree □ Disagree Hai Phong, ……/……/…… Signature 49 APPENDIX 2: INTERVIEW CONSENT FORM This is hereby certified that My name is , Currently a at _, voluntarily accept the invitation to participate in the research entitled: “Exploring non-English major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in Vietnam” conducted by Ms Pham Thi Ngoc Thanh from Faculty of Foreign Studies I understand that:  All of my personal information is confidentially kept  The result of this interview is only used for research purposes  My identity will be coded during the data analysis process My option for recording the interview is: □ Agree □ Disagree Hai Phong, ……/……/…… Signature 50 APPENDIX 3: OBSERVATION SCHEME Time Teacher: …………… Class: …………… Date: …………… Room: …………… Lesson: …………… Observation time: … - … Activity Teacher (verbal, nonverbal behaviours) Students (seat, behaviours, responses/reactions…) 51 Notes APPENDIX 4: RETROSPECTIVE INTERVIEW SCHEME (TEACHER) Teacher: …………… Class: …………… Interview date: ……… Lesson observed: ……………… Questions for teacher: “What were you thinking here/at that point?” “Can you tell me what you were thinking when you looked at that student?” “Do you remember what you were thinking when that student/the class did not respond to your questions?” Time on video Question (1/2/3) Notes for teacher’s answers Further questions – teacher’s answer APPENDIX 5: RETROSPECTIVE INTERVIEW SCHEME (STUDENT) Student: …………… Class: …………… 52 Interview date: ……… Lesson observed: ……………… Questions for student: “What were you thinking here/at this point?” “Can you tell me what you were thinking at that time?” “Do you remember thinking anything when she said/repeated that?” “Can you remember what you were thinking when she said that/those word(s)?” “Can you tell me what you thought when the class was totally silent at that time?” Time on video Question (1/2/3/4/5) Notes for student’s answers 53 Further questions – student’s answer ... ? ?Exploring non- English major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in Vietnam? ?? was carried out and submitted in partial fulfilment of the Degree of Master of. .. selection of participants Since students‟ silence in English classrooms from the perspectives of teachers and non- English major students was identified as the subject of this study, non- English major. .. negatively influence teaching and learning by both teachers and students Consequently, an investigation into the perspectives of Vietnamese non- English major students and their teachers on students‟ silence
- Xem thêm -

Xem thêm: Luận văn thạc sĩ exploring non english major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in vietnam , Luận văn thạc sĩ exploring non english major students’ and teachers’ perceptions of silence in tertiary EFL classrooms in vietnam