Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background of the study
The language communicative process includes two parts: information transmissionand information acceptance, that is, oral part and listening comprehension part. Englishlearning is a process of language acquisition, and foreign language acquisition is mainlyabout the skill training of listening comprehension and speaking. Listening comprehensionis a basic skill in language learning. When people listen to music or watch movies, theyget information mainly from listening, therefore, listening comprehension skills is vital fora foreign language learner. According to the statistics of Rivers (1981), in human languagecommunicative activities, writing accounts for 9 percent, reading accounts for 16 percent,speaking accounts for 30 percent, while listening comprehension accounts for 45 percent.Therefore, listening comprehension plays an important role in human languagecommunicative activities.At present, China’s English teaching syllabus of higher education mainly experiencedthree phases of reform. The first phase is mainly in grammar teaching, the second phase ismainly in reading, while the third phase is mainly in listening comprehension and oralabilities. Changes in the three phases prove that China’s English education values moreand more about students’ English communicative abilities. As a new mode of education,vocational education has got more and more attention from people.
1.2 Questions and objectives of the study
There are four specific questions need to be solved in this study:
(1) What are the existing problems in vocational college students’ learning in Englishlistening comprehension course?
(2) Is there relevance between English songs and listening comprehension level?
(3) Compared with traditional teaching mode, does English songs’ application inEnglish listening comprehension teaching have any advantages? If there are advantages,what kind of advantages?
(4) How to apply English songs in English listening comprehension teaching? Whatis the specific teaching mode? How to design reasonable principles about English songs’ selection, placement, and relevant questions and discussions?
This thesis focuses on exploring the question how to apply textbook-related Englishsongs in English listening comprehension course in order to highlight English songs’auxiliary functions in English listening comprehension teaching, and improve theclassroom effect of English listening comprehension course.
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 Studies of music and language
Music can adjust the brain to the best condition. When people are in the very relaxedmood, their brains stay in the most open condition, at this time, their brains can easily getthe external information. Musical intelligence refers to human’s comprehension ability tothe melody, rhythm, or the tune, and it also refers to the ability to express feelings andthoughts with music. Rozanov and Gateva (1988) puts forward suggestopedia teachingtheory, and this theory advocates that when people were comfortably listening to music,their bodies will carry out many psychological and physiological activities, at this time,their imagination is galloping, their creativity is active, and their mnemonic effect ofknowledge will be strengthened and lasting, therefore, music plays an important role inlanguage learning.Music is the most charming language, the combination of music and English teachingcan properly enliven classroom atmosphere. Language and music are closely related.Music’s impact enables students to accept knowledge lightly. Therefore, music enablesstudents to learn English easily. Teenagers have the potential of music, they are good atimitation, and most of them love popular music. In their spare time, they are most likely tocome into contact with English songs, so English songs are good learning materials forthem. The melody of English songs is exquisite. English songs have the culturalconnotation and linguistic characteristics, and English songs can easily stimulate students’interest in learning English.
2.2 Studies on English songs and English listening comprehension teaching
Many domestic and foreign scholars have done researches about English songs’application in English teaching. The former studies provide plenty of inspirations aboutapplying English songs in English listening comprehension teaching in vocational college. Krashen (1982) brings forward affective filter hypothesis theory. This theoryadvocates that learners must absorb the comprehensible linguistic form of language inputso that language acquisition can be generated. He thinks that learners often producelanguage absorbing barrier, and he calls this barrier affective filter. This language obstacleis unconscious, and it is formed by learners’ anxiety or lack of confidence. Therefore,Krashen thinks that anxiety or lack of confidence can hinder learners’ absorption oflinguistic form. Hence, learners need a relaxing and pleasant learning environment, andthe usage of English songs in English learning is an effective approach.Chomsky (1965) points outs that people are born with language acquisitionmechanism, so language learners need to stay in the appropriate language environmentand accept the appropriate language input. Krashen’s (1985) language input hypothesistheory emphasizes the following four principles: language input must be relevant to thelife and interesting; language input must be comprehensible; language input should not begrammatically sequenced; a great deal of language input is needed. His theory stresses thatstudents need to be input a lot of interesting and comprehensible information, thenstudents will process and absorb the input information, and finally they will producenatural language output. English songs can provide a great deal of interesting andcomprehensible language input for students, so songs can activate students’ languageacquisition mechanism.
Chapter 3 Theoretical Foundation ..... 23
3.1 The concept and the main influential factors of listening comprehension ........... 23
3.2 Krashen’s input hypothesis theory .......... 25
3.3 Krashen’s affective filter hypothesis theory.... 27
3.4 Constructivism theory ...... 28
3.5 Multiple intelligence theory...... 30
3.6 The theoretical guiding significance of Krashen’s input hypothesis theory ........... 32
Chapter 4 Research Design ....... 35
4.1 The questions and objectives of the teaching experiment...... 35
4.2 Respondents of the teaching experiment......... 36
4.3 Experimental methods ...... 36
4.4 Pretest before the teaching experiment ........... 36
4.5 Implementation process of the teaching experiment...... 37
4.6 Teaching case of applying English songs in listening comprehension teaching.......43
4.7 Design principles of English songs’ selection, placement……45
4.8 Posttest after the teaching experiment .... 51
Chapter 5 Analysis of Research Results.... 53
5.1 Analysis of the interview record....... 53
5.2 Analysis of the results of questionnaire in the pretest.... 56
5.3 Analysis of the results of questionnaire in the posttest........... 58
5.4 Analysis of the results of the paper tests (paper I & paper II) ...... 66
Chapter 5 Analysis of Research Results
5.1 Analysis of the interview record
The author conducted interviews with the students of the selected two classes. Thisinterview includes the following questions. Do you like English? Why? What kind ofclassroom activities in English listening comprehension course do you like? How do youpractice English listening comprehension ability? Do you like English songs? Do yousupport English songs’ application in English listening comprehension course? Thefollowing are the interview record of the two representative students, that is, ZhangZhiling and Zhang Qi. Zhang Qi’s answers about learning interest, classroom activities, and Englishsongs’ application in listening comprehension course. The following are Zhang Qi’s words,“I like English, and I love English course, but my English foundation is weak, and thisfactor affects my passion for learning English. I hope that English listeningcomprehension class can increase more activities, such as English games, English songs,English play performance, and so on. Because the classroom activities can enlivenclassroom atmosphere, and make our English learning more interesting and less boring.Besides, classroom activities can deepen our memory of English knowledge. I love tolisten to English songs, but I cannot understand most of the lyrics because of my limitedvocabulary. I support English songs’ application in English listening comprehensionteaching, I think it is a good way to motivate my learning interest, and I think I canpropose my favorite English songs for class teaching”.
In the previous chapters, the author had the investigation and analysis about theteaching practice and effect survey of applying English songs in English listeningcomprehension course. In view of the current situation of the English listeningcomprehension teaching and students’ English listening comprehension ability. The authorconducted a four-month teaching practice in two classes in Environmental ManagementCollege of China. The author tries to explore the teaching mode of applying English songsin English listening comprehension teaching, and puts forward specific implementationstrategies and teaching case. The practical illustration through teaching interview,classroom observation, paper test results and questionnaire survey data, objectivelydemonstrates the effect of this teaching mode in the practice of English listeningcomprehension teaching. After the teaching experiment, the author finds that theapplication of appropriate text-related English songs helps to enhance students’understanding of the theme, and cultivate their initiative in learning English.This study explores a new teaching mode for English listening comprehensionteaching. Based on the findings and analysis of this research, this thesis can provide someinspiration for English teaching and English learning in vocational college.