Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background of the Research
English is the most official spoken language in the world and the primarylanguage used in international affairs. It plays a more and more important role ininternational communication. With the continuous improvement of China'sinternational status, English, as a medium of cross-cultural communication, helpsfurther improve our cultural soft power and promote cultural exchanges.
Besides, from the perspective of personal development, the mastery of Englishfacilitates individuals to further advance their careers, get access to richer knowledgeand information all over the world, and enrich their cultural experience. Furthermore,English is one of the three major subjects in the college entrance examination for moststudents. Learning English well helps them gain better performance in the entranceexamination which might mean a bright future in their view.
According the English Curriculum Standard of High School (Ministry ofeducation, 2018), the objectives in linguistic ability include the ability to use existinglanguage knowledge in specific contexts, understand the meaning of oral expressions,and express ones’ ideas orally. In recent years, with further development in theeducation reform of the senior high school entrance examination and the collegeentrance examination in China, the score of English listening and speaking takes upan increasing proportion of the total scores. According to relevant researches, thereare more than 50 provinces and cities in China that carry out the computer-based English listening and speaking test. For instance, Guangdong began to conduct bothwritten test and listening and speaking test in the English examination of collegeentrance examination since 2011. Beijing followed its step and declared that the scoreof the Oral English would be included in the total score of the college entranceexamination from 2021. This policy could probably spread to the whole country.
Figure 2. 1 Output Hypothesis Model of L2 Learning and Production (Adapted fromSwain & Lapkin, 1995)
Chapter 3 Research Methodology
3.1 Research Questions
This thesis aims at exploring the problems and possible solutions in theapplication of the Write-to-speak method in senior high schools. The researchquestions are as follows:
(1) What is the teaching effect from the analysis of the tests?
(2) What are the results of the classroom observation?
(3) What are the problems encountered in the application process of theWrite-to-speak method? And what are the causes?
The research subjects of this experiment were 43 senior students in Grade twofrom Yangchun No. 1 Middle School in Guangdong Province. They all came fromone class. The students who began their studies of English from Grade Three inprimary schools have been studying English for about 8 years. Generally speaking,eight-year experience of English learning qualified them of about level 1 in linguisticability according to the classifications of levels in the core competence for Englishsubject (Ministry of education, 2018). They could use the existing English knowledgeskillfully to understand information in the familiar context. Moreover, as they haveacquired comparatively rich vocabulary and skills of English learning, they couldutilize simple sentences and expressions to convey their intent and feelings in English.As required in the experiment, the students were divided into three groups accordingto their performance levels in the pre-test so as to have a more comprehensive pictureabout the teaching effect of the Write-to-speak method.
Chapter 5 Findings and Implications
5.1 Major Findings
By taking advantage of both qualitative and quantitative studies, the teachingexperiment with 43 students was carried out in a senior high school for 16 weeks. Itaimed to explore the problems and corresponding solutions in the process of theapplication of the Write-to-speak method in oral English teaching in senior highschools. Based on the above results and discussion, the findings are presented asfollows:
(1)The application of the Write-to-speak method in senior high school oralEnglish teaching has increased students’ speaking proficiency significantly.
When combining speaking with writing, the students are not required to delivertheir ideas instantly. There is time gap between the preparation and the speech, whichrelief them from the pressure to deliver spontaneous speech. Given enough time toprepare for the oral tasks, they tend to show more confidence and motivation inspeaking, which could improve the fluency of their speaking.
Moreover, students could better improve accuracy and complexity under theWrite-to-speak method. Without the time pressure to deliver spontaneous speech inpublic, students can carefully think through the language until they believe it canreally reflect their ideas. Then they could try every means to guarantee the rightexpression, spelling, grammars are used, thus improving oral accuracy. In thetraditional ways, they are hurried to express their ideas so that simple words,expressions and structures are used very often. When writing down their ideas, theycould process the information and pick the best ones to express their ideas. duringwhich new language points could be generated. The more writing practice they have done before speaking, the richer vocabulary and better expressions they could use toconvey their ideas. Gradually, the wideness and deepness of their oral output could beexpanded.
Table 4. 3 Statistic Description of the High-Score Group and the Low-Score Group
5.2 Pedagogical Implications
In this research, a research on the application of the Write-to-speak method tooral English teaching was carried out in a senior high school. Based on the aboveanalysis and discussions on the research, the research has thrown up the followingimplications.
(1) Measures could be taken to reconstruct students’ mindset about Englishspeaking.
In the future application of the Write-to-speak, teachers could try to help studentsunderstand the importance and significance of English speaking. Nowadays, it isessential to stress the Oral English learning in order to conform to the trend of thetimes. As a tool for international communication, one couldn’t achieve thecommunication effect and efficiency without speaking learning. Phonetics,vocabulary and grammar are the three basic elements of English. They completelanguage and are not isolated with each other in language learning. Helping studentsunderstand the importance of English speaking requires the help of society, schoolsand teachers. First of all, the government or society could set up rules or directions toput emphasis on speaking. Enlarging the proportion that speaking takes up in theexams will be effective. What’s more, schools could advocate fixed time or fixedlength of time for oral English learning to emphasize the importance on institutionalbasis. Finally, teachers could spare sufficient time on speaking to guarantee enough isdone on speaking, which shows their value and attitude on speaking. Teachers’attitude could affect students’ ideas towards speaking dramatically. If students won’tchange their attitude towards English speaking, they wont’ have the motive and desireto learn it.
Chapter 6 Conclusion
6.1 Summary of the Research
In this research, targeting at 43 students in a senior high school, theWrite-to-speak method was applied in oral English teaching for 16 weeks in order toexplore the effect, existed problems and possible solutions to these questions. Tests,classroom observation and interviews were conducted in order to collect relevantinformation.
The Write-to-speak method has positive effect on improvement of students’ oralproficiency. The overall analysis made on comparison of their oral English levelbetween pre-test and post-test revealed that the Write-to-speak method could improvestudents’ overall English speaking competence. In order to get more detailedinformation, analysis about their oral competence in fluency, accuracy and complexitywere made and concluded that it did good to all aspects, while the contrast betweenthe high-score group and the low-score group indicated that students in low-scoregroup generally made greater progress than high-score group. The results wereconsistent with the previous studies.
Based on the analysis of the classroom observation, some problems existed in theprocess of applying the the Write-to-speak method. Firstly, some students preferredthe traditional teaching method and treated the writing tasks negatively. Secondly, thestudents were more likely to receive feedback from teachers than peer. Thirdly, thestudents tended to depend on the previous materials when speaking. Finally, somestudents ignored their classmates’ oral speeches and focused on themselves.