Strategies to build self-confidence and self-esteem in students in order to enhance speaking skills in the English lessons

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(1)Strategies to build self-confidence and self-esteem in students in order to enhance speaking skills in the English lessons. Yoeli Morales Yao1 Abstract The relationship between learning a foreign language and personality traits such as self-confidence and self-esteem it is a relevant factor that teachers must consider when planning lessons since these latest can have a positive or negative impact on students’ learning. (Arancibia, Herrera & Strasser, 2011) Thus, the aim of this research focused on using strategies to help students build self-confidence and self-esteem to improve their communicative competence. The research took place in a subsidized school located in Santiago Centro, in students of tenth grade that claimed to feel nervous, and insecure when having to express in English. Hence the strategies used to achieve the objective were based on five concepts claimed by Reasoner (1991) as important elements to promote positive feelings in students regarding their academic performance in English. For example, strategies such as providing a positive environment inside the classroom, giving positive feedback to students, among others were used as a way to foster a sense of security, identity, belonging, purpose and personal competence. Furthermore, all lessons were focused on a Communicative Language Approach to make students practice speaking skills while developing self-confidence and self-esteem. At the end of the unit, students showed if strategies were useful for them in a speaking assessment, where they were interview by the researcher on topics seen in classes. Finally, results showed that even though students were more willing to express themselves in a target language, they were still feeling nervous when expressing in English. Keywords: Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Foreign Language, Communicative Language Approach.. Introduction One of the most striking features of teaching English in Chile is how this subject is taught under a Communicative Language Approach, which requires teachers and students to make use of the target language throughout the entire lessons, following the requirements of our educational system which emphasizes the importance of developing communicative skills in students (Ministry of Education, 2009) nonetheless, when students are learning a foreign language “the self is especially vulnerable because it is deprived of its normal, familiar vehicle of expression. (Rubio, 2007, p.17) causing negative impact on students’ learning process, and making them feel as if they were no able to “be themselves when speaking a new language” (Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope (1986) as cited in Rubio, 2007) This is why the objective of this research involves the incorporation of strategies for helping students to improve their personality traits such as self-confidence and self-esteem and to help them forget about their negative perspective of their own performance in the target language. Similarly, in order to develop speaking skills in students, it is also important to pay attention to how students feel about themselves when expressing in another language by providing strategies “where students have both a positive, accurate belief about themselves and their abilities and also the commitment and responsibility that comes when they see themselves as able to complete worthwhile goals” (Arnold 2007 as cited in Fernandez, 2007). During the implementation of a didactic unit, several. 1. Traductor inglés-español, Licenciado en Lenguas y Letras de la Universidad Tecnológica de Chile, Inacap y estudiante del último semestre del Programa Pedagogía para Profesionales de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Taller de práctica profesional guiado por la Profesora de estado en inglés de la Universidad de Playa Ancha y Magíster en Pedagogía de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado Alicia Páez Ubilla, 2016..

(2) strategies were used to foster both, personality traits and speaking skills. Regarding this latest aspect, in each lesson were included different speaking tasks where students could perform by pair-work and team-work, while the teacher applied strategies that foster a sense of security, identity, belonging, purpose and personal competence among them. In the following article, these strategies are explained with further details theoretically, compared with the reality of applying these strategies in an English unit, as well as analyzed students’ reactions and teacher performance during the intervention. Diagnostic of School The school I was assigned to do my teaching training was founded by a religious congregation in 1927 which is also categorized as a Catholic school that offers a scientific-humanistic education to students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. This school is located in Santiago’s downtown and has an enrollment of nine hundred and twenty -three students, coming from different districts of Santiago. It’s a subsidized school (i.e. financed by both, the Government and the students’ families) which fee paying ranges from 25,000 to 50,000 Chilean pesos (CLP). It’s also important to mention that the school enrolment is completely free and students coming from vulnerable situations are given scholarships every year. Educational Orientation: The school educational orientation is based on religious values, which according to their Institutional Project are focused on giving students a Christian concept of life where they learn to live in community by promoting the spiritual life of Francis of Assisi (p.2). In order to do this, the school has established that teachers must follow a constructivist education model that according to Carretero (1997) consists of creating the opportunity for students to become an active learner, while teachers playing a guiding role, help them build their own learning through meaningful experiences focusing on a learner-centered education. English in the school: In relation to the English subject in the school, there are two teachers working on both levels, primary and secondary. In primary levels, students have English lessons from third to eighth grade with a total of three pedagogical hours per week, while in secondary levels all grades have four pedagogical hour lessons per week. Regarding English proficiency, the school, according to the Ministry of Education, proved that, at least, their secondary students have an intermediate English level. This due to the school’s results on English Standard test called SIMCE where the school obtained scores higher than 50 points in the three years that the test was taken. For example, in 2010 the school got a score of 55 points, score which was improved in 2012 where students got a score of 110 points, however, the latest was lowered down to 57 points in 2014, having a total of 33% of students certificated with A2 and B1 English proficiency level. Tenth Grade: 2.

(3) During my teaching training, I worked in the English lessons of tenth graders, a forty-two students-class whose average age is around 15 to 17 years old. Among this group of students, different cultural backgrounds are found, for instance, there are four students coming from different countries such as Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. One positive aspect of this class is the fact that there are no rejecting attitudes towards those students. However, when it comes to how students relate to each other “several groups can be identified (Yoeli Morales, 2016) although, when they have to participate in school’s activities they are considerably united. Regarding the English lessons, they all showed overall a positive attitude since 97% of them, as collected in a survey, consider that learning English is an important tool; nonetheless, there are certain moments in the class where students lose focus and start to get distracted easily, this must happen because the survey results showed that 62% of students like English lessons, against 22% of students who only like some aspects of the subject and 16% simply do not like it. Following the same premise, students are taught this subject under the Communicative Language Approach which is focused on learning English through producing this language, involving a real-life communication process (Richards, J.; 2006, p.2). In the lessons, activities are focused on developing the productive and receptive skills (Writing, Speaking, Reading, and Listening). However, during the observations, I could notice that receptive skills were the most common activities in class, complemented with activities from the textbook given by the Ministry of Education. Only occasionally, there were activities focused on speaking or writing skills. Regarding this last aspect, 54% of students considered they communicate in the target language during the entire class, 24% think they speak English most of the time, 10% speak English occasionally, 8% use the target language rarely, 2% hardly ever speak English, and 2% never speak in English during the lessons. What can be say about the English lessons is that these are focused on the realization of the activities, withdrawing the importance to the structure of a class where objectives are not mentioned to students, and, usually, there are no warm-up or closing activities (Morales, 2016, p.1.) Usually, the class starts with the teacher mentioning the contents that student will review in class and the pages of the textbook the students are going to work with during that class. Then, the she gives a short grammatical explanation in English and gives examples of how to use the content; this is followed by instructions for the activities that are usually from the textbook. While students do the activities, the teacher monitors them, and later, asks some of them to give the answers for each activity in front of the class. When it comes to assessments, these are similar to the activities made by students in the classroom. In general, most of the tests are written, and they usually consist on three of the four skills such as Reading, Listening and Writing. For the speaking skills, there are different types of assessment such as short conversation activities and oral presentations, though these types of assessments are not as common as the written test. In the survey taken at the beginning of the first semester 49% of students, concerning 3.

(4) summative assessment and how they perform on them, think of themselves as good students for learning English, 31% considered themselves as regular students, while 20% think they are simply not good enough for learning a foreign language. On the other hand, and taking in consideration students’ speaking performance, 56% of them think it is difficult for them to express in English, 22% think speaking English is slightly difficult, while the remaining 22% considered communicating in English a very difficult task. Something I noticed regarding this last aspect was the fact that the teacher asks the same group of students to participate in the class; usually these students are the ones with a better English proficiency level. The rest of the class, simply do not participate and some of them, even do not do the activities. Likewise, when I was asked to help the teacher monitor students, I would realize that most students that do not participate did not feel confident enough to speak in English in front of their classmates or just because they did not understand what the teacher says, for example there is a slight difference between students that feels positive regarding English and those who feels insecure, where 57% feel positive against 44% of students that do not feel good at all during the English lessons. Having this in mind, the students’ confidence level varies, as 19% of students feel very confident when expressing themselves in English, 34% feel confident enough, , 13% do not feel confident enough, while 24% do not feel confidence. Finally, this situation called my attention because most of the students in the class were not taken into account by the teacher when checking the activities, showing to some students a lower expectation which according to Arancibia, Herrera & Strasser (2011) has a great impact on the students’ learning process (p.233) in different aspects such as self-confidence, and other aspects related to students’ personalities that are important for teachers to address since it’s in our hands to give students the opportunities to make their own learning processes positive and meaningful. Theoretical Framework The importance of teaching English as a communicative language approach In the last decade, teaching English as a foreign language has gained great importance in our country. The Ministry of Education (2009) said that this has happened, due to the demands of a society that has been inserted into a globalized world. Furthermore, this later awareness has brought several changes in our society, more specifically, in our education system. For example, not only English has become a compulsory subject for students from fifth to twelfth grade (British Council, 2015, p.20), but also, the way this subject is taught has become an important factor in the acquisition of English as a foreign language, hence the need to give this subject a different focus by carrying out lessons under a Communicative Language Approach. In this approach, student are supposed to be given the opportunity “to develop communicative competence” (Richard, 2006, p.2) 4.

(5) Apart from this, Jeremy Harmer (2007) addressed that there are reasons to believe that exposing students to a target language in a classroom brings positive outcomes, not only for them, but also, for teachers. First of all, students practicing speaking tasks can give them the opportunity to rehearse this skill. Added to that, students as well as teachers can get feedback on how they have progressed, i.e., students become aware of the aspects that they have achieved and the aspects they need to improve, while teachers have the chance to think and modify the strategies they have been using to develop speaking skill in students. Lastly, students, when frequently exposed to speaking tasks, turn into “autonomous language users” (Harmer, 2007, p.123) Obstacles for carrying out lessons under a Communicative Language Approach However, Sato and Ballinger (2006) explained that even nowadays, English is still taught using the learner’s mother tongue, where teachers focus their lessons on teaching grammar and vocabulary memorization, preventing students from engaging with their own learning process, and making teachers focusing lessons on communicative language approach a more challenging job in view of the fact that “studying language cannot be separated the whole person, a being who has physic, cognition and more importantly emotion” (Fauziati, 2009) What is more, affective factors such as self-confidence and selfesteem can impact, whether in a positive or negative way, in students’ learning process, especially when facing a subject that must be carried out in a language that they might not be familiar with. Therefore and on account of the fact that students when becoming aware of the difficulties of learning a foreign language, find “their own identity being limited” (Rubio, 2007, p.17) and having in mind that learning a foreign language can cause “a feeling of uncertainty, creating inhibitions and insecurities and affecting in a negative way students’ self-confidence” (Brown, 2007, p.61), the applications of strategies for building self-confidence and self-esteem in students “should be pre-planned in the teaching units and integrated within the foreign language curriculum” (Rubio, 2007, p.8). Regarding this latest aspect, the National Curriculum in Chile (2012), explicit in the Fundamental Transversal Objectives that one of the goals of the English subject is to foster self-esteem and self-confidence, mainly because expressing in a foreign language implies overcoming inhibitions, therefore it is important for teachers to know “what are the sources and components, and how applications can be implemented in the language classroom” (Rubio, 2007, p.7) On the other hand, “critics have affirmed that dealing with self-esteem can lead to egocentric behaviour and to unrealistic expectations” (Rubio, 2007, p.8) in other words, several authors claimed that building self-confidence and self-esteem in students can have negative consequences in their personalities, considering that “frequent praise, and general emphasis on unconditional self-esteem will lead to vulgar self-satisfaction (Kohn, 1994, p.10) Nonetheless, it is necessary to highlight that, as opposed to what critics said about building self-confidence and self-esteem in schools, the strategies such as praising students does not necessarily mean congratulate students for whatever they do, but to provide positive 5.

(6) feedback on both, elements they have accomplished and elements that need to be improved, thus teachers must emphasise the strategies used to improve personality traits in empowering “the internal sources of self-esteem related to integrity, responsibility, and achievement.” (Reasoner, 1992, p.24) Strategies for building self-confidence and self-esteem in students With this in mind, it is necessary for teachers to take into consideration that developing self-confidence and self-esteem in students is as important as developing speaking skills in the classroom, given the fact that “learner’s belief that they indeed are fully capable of accomplishing a task is at least partially a factor in their eventual success in attaining the task” (Brown, 2007, p.62) There are different strategies teachers can apply in their classrooms as a way to make students’ learning process a positive, meaningful and useful experience. For example, Robert Reasoner (1991) emphasizes the importance of building self-confidence and self-esteem in students by applying five concepts: A sense of Security, Identity, Belonging, Purpose and Personal Competence. The first concept, a sense of security, consists in providing students a positive environment in the classroom; carrying out a lesson by “having clear rules, regulations and expectations and enforcing them in a consistent manner without intimidating or degrading students.” (Bratovs et al., 2003, p.2) This is an important factor for teachers to take into account because specifying order inside the classroom and reinforcing values such as respect and tolerance not only foster a sense of security in students, but also help to make their learning process less negative. In second place, the sense of identity is about recognizing students’ positive aspects and hard work in the classroom, in order for teachers to provide this sense to students it is vital to praise their strengths, when necessary, as a way to make them feel secure. This must be done by teachers for the simple reason that “individuals have a basic need to feel a sense of personal worth”. (Bratovs et al., 2003, p.2) Similarly, “we all want to feel that we belong, to feel accepted and supported by others. We need to feel that we are part of an organization that is larger than ourselves.” (Bratovs et al., 2003, p.3) hence, carrying out strategies for lessons that give students a sense of belonging is essential for the successful of a class. For example, creating activities based on cooperative learning such as whole-class work, team-work and pair-work can bring positive self-perception to students, since students “as they work together, they share information and come to each other’s aid (Brown, 2007, p.47) The fourth concept, a sense of purpose refers to the fact that students need to know that the activities they are carrying out during the English lesson have a purpose that would be meaningful and useful for them. That is why it is relevant to specify that there are objectives for each lesson and motives for students to reach these objectives. Thus when they are practicing speaking skills they have a reason to do so as “personal effectiveness and satisfaction come about when effort is directed to what is significant” (Reasoner as quoted in Bratovs et al., 2003, p.4) 6.

(7) Lastly, teachers must create a sense of personal competence in students by helping them become aware of how much they have progressed. This can be done by giving positive feedback to students when they accomplish a speaking task. Peer acceptance is also very relevant in building students’ self-confidence and self-esteem, so naming a monitor in each team not only helps the rest of the students to improve the way they carry out the activities, but also makes them feel secure when those monitors express what their classmates have achieved during a speaking task. To sum up, “the fifth concept is all about celebrating success and giving recognition to what individuals have accomplished, thus reinforcing those feelings of competence” (Bratovs et al, 2003, p. 3). Finally, building self-confidence and self-esteem in students is a difficult but necessary task for teachers to do in the classroom, considering that when students show themselves confidence and trust in their own capacities, they engage more with their own learning process. Added to that, “it is clear that different incentive systems draw out different reasons for learning, for good or ill, and that these reasons influence not only the quality of students’ performance but also the students’ willingness to continue to learn”. (Mecca et al., 1989, p.103) Description of the unit Didactic decisions Before describing the unit, it is important to mention that the planning was made according to the English National Syllabus (2016) and the textbook that the Ministry of Education promotes in schools of the country. The planning was made this way because the school where the implementation took place requested to promote the use of the textbook in the English lessons in order to improve students’ learning process. Having said that, the unit assigned to teach in tenth grade was the third unit of the English national syllabus. The topic was “El mundo que me rodea: relaciones personales y redes sociales” (Mineduc, 2009), however, the English textbook had a completely different topic for the same unit, most contents, though, were similar. This situation led to a moment of confusion while planning the unit, so after consulting to the didactic teacher and to the English teacher of tenth grade, the solution was planning the unit with the content of the National Syllabus, while using the topic of the textbook which was “Arts and Entertainment” (English Textbook, 2016) as a way to combine both elements in order to meet the requirements of the school. Similarly, another aspect that had to be included into the planning was the students’ view on the English lessons and their own academic performances, which were obtained through a short survey taken at the beginning of the first semester. These results showed that most students do not participate in the activities of the class due to low self-confidence and/or self-esteem levels, where most of them said that they feel embarrassed or insecure when having to express themselves in the target language. Hence, the need to look for strategies that could be applied in the English lessons as a way to help students to improve their self-confidence and/or self-esteem levels while, also improving the development of their speaking skills. 7.

(8) In the following table, a sample of a 90 minutes lesson plan Lessons. Contents/ Skills. Resources. Strategies. Lesson 1 2 hour class August 11th. Phrases to express opinions. Mineduc English Textbook.. Strategies to build confidence:. Modal verbs: Must - Mustn’t. Power point presentation. Positive feedback. Computer Vocabulary: Types of TV shows Connectors: But, So, And, Because. Skills: Reading, Writing and Speaking. Teacher Monitoring. Projector Peer Monitoring Modeling activities Cooperative Learning. Activities/skills/ topics Objective: By the end of this lesson, I will be able to express my opinion and to give recommendations on TV shows in a short presentation. As an introduction to the topic, a routine is going to be held where students answer questions such as: -. What did you do during winter holiday? Did you watch movies? Did you go to a concert? Do you listen to music? Did you go to a museum? Have you ever gone to see a play?. Warm-up (Whole class activity) Then, students are going to do an activity from the Mineduc textbooks (page 54) where they have to do a word map. In the word map they have to write the name of their favorite famous people in the different areas of art and entertainment. Reading 1) Pre-reading: Students recognize new vocabulary related to types of TV shows. (whole-class activity) (5 minutes) 2) While- reading: Students read three people’s passage about things they like. (individual activity) Students organize sentences chronologically. (pair work: like-ability) Students form full sentences using connectors (Individual activity) 3) Post-reading: (Writing-Speaking) Students give their opinions and Recommendations of what types of TV shows these people can watch according To what they read. (pair-work: cross-ability) Students share orally the recommendations and the opinions given by them (Whole-class work) Closing: Students share their feelings regarding the activities by answering questions such as: Did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable? Did you like or dislike the activity? Why?. 8.

(9) Regarding the English lessons, these were four-hour classes per week, divided into two 90 minutes lessons, on Mondays and Thursdays. The activities of the lessons were focused on the development of four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking), however, as talked with the master teacher, the lessons had a bigger focus on speaking tasks. So the lessons were divided into forty-five minutes of activities where students practice reading, listening and writing skills, while the last forty-five minutes were dedicated to practicing speaking skills only. On the other hand, a specific structure was given to the lessons by socializing a menu for each class, making explicit the learning outcomes, motivating students with warm-up activities, introducing the skills with Pre, While and Post activities, reassuring students’ learning through closing activities, and finally, but not least, giving positive feedback on their performance and participation for each class. During the last forty-five minutes of the lessons, speaking skills were practiced as post-activities where students had to apply the vocabulary and the phrases in role play activities, short guided conversations, and interviews in teams of five or six students. In each team, there was a student that acted as a monitor, where he or she had to guide the speaking activities and help his or her classmates whose performance were more difficult to carry out. It is important to mention, that the students chose (sometimes by the teacher, other times by the students) as monitors were usually, the students that had a higher motivation for participating in class and also a higher English proficiency level. Likewise, teams were formed in two ways, cross-ability2, and Like-ability3. Alongside the activities of the class where students learn new vocabulary and new content, different strategies to improve students’ self-confidence and self-esteem were carried out during the lessons. These strategies were based on five concepts that Robert Reasoner (1991) pointed out as important factors in building self-confidence and self-esteem in students. These concepts were: A sense of Security, Identity, Belonging, Purpose and Personal Competence. In the following table, the strategies used during the intervention can be found: A sense of Security -Teacher provides a positive environment by setting clear rules. 2. 3. A sense of Identity. A sense of Belonging. -Teacher shows a -Team-work high expectation. activities. -Teacher gives positive recognition to students, when necessary.. -Pair- work activities -Whole-class. work. A sense of Purpose. A sense of Personal Competence. - Specify objectives for each lesson. - Teacher monitoring activities. -Explicit why these objectives must be reached.. -Peer monitoring. activities.. Students with different English proficiency levels, Students that have a similar English proficiency level.. 9.

(10) Teacher’s resource In the implementation and as a way to provide a meaningful learning process to students (Mineduc, 2008) several resources were used. For example, during the first forty-five minutes of the lessons, power point presentations, audios, worksheets, flashcards, and texts adapted to students’ English proficiency were used to motivate and engage students into the activities of the lessons; likewise, the Ministry of Education explains that it is important to take into account students’ learning styles, hence the mentioned resources were also used to promote the different kinds of intelligence. Activities taken from the National English textbooks (Mineduc, 2016) were also incorporated into the implementation, since it was a requirement of the school to promote the usage of it, thus students could take advantage of all available resources in their institution. Other resources used during the implementation of the unit, more specifically for speaking tasks, were paperboard, printed images, a set of flashcards and set of questions in order to create opportunities for students to learn a foreign language through different strategies, beyond the ones they already known. Regarding the participation of students in the class, the resource used was Pop Slice Stick Strategies with their names on it; this was used to assure the participation of all of them during each lesson, and to form cross-ability and like-ability teams, in view of the fact that students can learn to work in teams and with different people other than their friends. Assessment The assessment of the unit consisted of a short interview where students answered five questions about the different topics seen in each lesson. The assessment was divided into two parts, in both parts students had to give their opinions and use the vocabulary seen in class; however the first part of the assessment consisted only of: answering three questions that were chosen at random, while in the second part of the assessment, students had to turn their answer of two questions into a discussion among them. It is important to mention that the questions used in the assessment were the same or similar than the one used on the speaking tasks for each lesson, with a slight change in the mode of the speaking task. Learning results Lessons It is often said that students take their time in getting used to a professor’s teaching style, therefore, when different lesson’s structure for a specific subject is imposed to students, it is more likely that they showed a bit confused and off guard. Taking this into the implementation of the unit, students noticed that the structure of the lessons was different from their master teacher. Hence activities such as being exposed to a specific objective each lesson, activating previous knowledge orally, or practicing speaking skills more than usual, did have a negative impact on their participation. As a way to improve students’. 10.

(11) participation, a specific strategy was used; this strategy implied the usage of Pop Slice Stick, where each of them had a student’s name on it so when participation was needed, the teacher would choose a Pop Slice Stick at random. Once this strategy was implemented in the lessons, students’ participation increased, they showed more willing to be part of the lessons since students, especially those who used to avoid participating in the English lessons, started to join in the realizations and reviewing of these activities (Yoeli Morales, 2016). Similarly, most students changed their attitudes, becoming more positive towards the lessons, for example, at the beginning of these it was noticed that most of them were more motivated and engaged towards answering routine questions as whole-class activities4 where they had to active previous knowledge, this was proved through a second survey taken at the end the unit implementation, where 53% of students said that they felt comfortable when the teacher asked questions to the entire class. In this same survey, 62% of students expressed that they felt confidence when being part of the reviewing of the activities. Speaking tasks Regarding the speaking practice during the implementation, students showed a high participation level, the willing to follow the instructions, and a positive attitude towards the fact that in each task, they will be monitored by one of their peers, since 86% of students expressed to feel confidence when working with peer-monitoring against 13% of students who felt insecure. Nonetheless, in the middle of the implementation, they had to answer on an exit ticket used as a closing activity in one of the lessons, how they felt during the speaking practice, having as result, eight students out of thirty-one, feeling uncomfortable, insecure and afraid to speak in English with other people that were not part of their groups of friends, this was mainly because teams were formed through the Pop Slice Stick Strategy. Therefore, and in view of the results of this exit ticket, making a change in how teams were formed in order to avoid negative feelings in students towards the speaking activities was considered immediately. This change was giving students the opportunity to choose the members of their teams; however, the monitor was still chosen by the teacher and assigned to a different team each class. As a result of this pedagogical decision, students showed a positive reaction by improving the participation during the realization of the speaking tasks as it was indicated in the survey, when asked the same question of the first exit ticket, 62% of students felt positively during speaking practice. However, despite this, the number of students feeling negatively towards the realization of speaking tasks grew up to 37%. Following this same premise, a surprisingly high amount of students felt confidence while working on pair or teams, with a total of 78%, while 65% felt positive when interacting with their peers, against 35% that said the opposite. 11. 4. Activities carry out by students altogether.

(12) Answer samples of the first Exit Ticket. Assessment Regarding the oral assessment, 60% of students expressed in the second survey that they feel confidence during the interview carried out as the implementation assessment. When these students were asked why they felt confidence most of their answers were that they felt better prepared after practicing speaking skills in every single lesson. Nonetheless, the amount of students that felt insecure during the assessment is quite important and worrying since 40% of them still have a negative perspective regarding speaking in a foreign language, most of the reasons for these students to still feel insecure were related to their self-perception of their own academic performances, for example, the mispronunciation of the words, the lack of knowledge of vocabulary and personality traits such as anxiety and low self-confidence and self-esteem. What did they learn during the implementation? During the last class of the implementation a final exit ticket was taken to thirty-seven students where they had to answer what they learned from this unit. Thus, 41% of students mentioned that they learn vocabulary, while 3% of them, also learned how to apply such vocabulary. In a different premise, 22% of students said that they learned how to express their opinions, while 3% of students learn how to express preferences and 1% learned how to form sentences. Regarding the skills that students must develop when learning a foreign language, 20% of students expressed that they improved their speaking skills when it comes to fluency and confidence, while 1% felt that they develop listening and reading skills. 12.

(13) Finally, and in view of the fact that this implementation was based on personality traits, 6% of students indicated to have lost the fear of speaking English during the lessons, while 3% learned how to live together with those classmates that usually were not part of their groups of friends. Answer samples of the final Exit Ticket. Intervention Analysis One of the most striking features of being a teacher is that we are given the opportunity to reflect on how things are done inside a classroom, thus, the Ministry of Education (2008), emphasizes the importance of reframing each strategy used in the lessons in order to improve our students’ learning process. Thus, it is important for teachers to take into consideration everything that happens inside the classroom, relying on what elements are necessary to modify or replace in the teaching process having as main focus, students’ learning process. In connection with the previous statement, it is important to analyze my performance as teacher in training of tenth graders. First of all, fostering a positive environment in the classroom is one of the many elements that provide students a secure and positive learning process (Ministry of Education, 2008, p.9). Similarly, for the implementation, using strategies that help to promote a secure environment for students was an important factor, since it is considered the foundation to help students build self-confidence and selfesteem. However, at the beginning of the implementation, carrying out this was a very difficult task to do, mainly because I had not defined which specific strategies I was going to use in order to foster an 13.

(14) environment of respect and tolerance. It took me awhile figuring out some strategies to improve this, but the first thing I should have done in the first class was to specify clear regulations in the classroom. However, after the first week, and when I noticed that students’ started to embrace my teaching style, I started to explicit consequences in the classroom every time a student misbehaved. This, also happened, after I start to gain more confidence in myself as teacher, due to the fact that students’ negativity towards the lessons and the way these were carried out did lower my self-confidence when it comes to my own performance as a teacher. Secondly, another aspect I should have paid more attention to was the strategies used for fostering students’ participation during the realization of the activities from the beginning of the implementation, in view of the fact that before I could come up with a strategy to assure everyone’s participation, the only students taking part of the class, were those with better grades and higher English proficiency level. As a way to fix this situation, and because the Ministry of Education (2008) explained that it is an important task for teachers to provide participation opportunities to every student in the classroom, I started to use a strategy called Pop Slice Stick that helped increased students’ participation; however in some students this strategy instead of helping them in building self-confidence and self-esteem, only caused the opposite effect. Thirdly, I feel that the organization of the learning process was a positive aspect, when it comes to the coherence of the contents with the objectives of each lesson, the topics of the unit which were related to students reality, and activities used to develop different skills (Ministry of Education, 2008, p.20-21) The creation of materials helped me take into consideration student’s different learning style, however, regarding students different English proficiency was an important element that I did not take into consideration, since while planning the implementation, I focused the difficulty of the tasks on students with lower self-confidence and self-esteem and lower English proficiency level, leaving behind those confidence students who showed an advanced English proficiency level. Furthermore, I could have adapted the teaching methodologies taking in consideration all students, in other words, give more active roles to students with better English proficiency level, and higher self-confidence and self-esteem levels, besides of peer monitoring. This, because those students showed discouraged with some of the tasks of the lessons (Yoeli Morales, 2016) though, students with lower self-confidence and self-esteem showed motivated because having a routine and giving them a structure for each lesson helped them adapt and embrace this brand new teaching style faster than expected and with time, it increased their security and confidence levels when participating in the classroom. With all the elements mentioned above in mind, it is important to point out lessons learned professionally and personally, for example, regarding the professional learning of the implementation I learned that it is possible not just to adapt activities and strategies to students’ context, but also to 14.

(15) manage these two as way to provide positive environment inside the classroom, for example, when I found out that the Pop slice stick strategy was not working with all students, I was able to negotiate with students where there were given the chance to choose their teammates as long as they behave in class. Another mayor lesson learned at a professional view was the importance of being constantly updating information about activities and strategies teachers can use in order to provide a positive learning process to students (Ministry of Education, 2008). On the other hand, and taking learnings into a personal view, having confidence on our own performance it is significantly important to provide positive feelings in students and help them get the most rewarding experience in the classroom. Improvement plan It is universally acknowledged that teachers must always be constantly thinking and re-thinking about how we act in the classroom, as well as reflecting on the decisions we made regarding strategies and methodologies used, how these have worked and how these have affected in students (Shulman, 2004, p.17) however, it is also important to become aware that part of a teacher’s job is to research on new strategies and methodologies or how to adapt the ones already used in order to improve the way we organized and meditate contents and skills in view of making students’ learning process a positive and enlightening experience. (Ministry of Education, 2008, p.33) Addressing this into the unit implementation, it is necessary to explicit different strategies that I should take into account for the future. For example, the Ministry of Education (2008) said that in order to provide a positive environment in the classroom, the teacher must be able to make student feel interested and engaged with what they are going to learn. Therefore, to assure this, several strategies can be used. First of all, it is fundamental to specify rules and regulations inside the classroom, this can also be done, by asking students which rules they think it are important to respect in their classroom as a way to make them feel part of the class. Secondly, another aspect that it is decisive when providing a positive environment is having consequences for students who renegade the rules and regulations, and make sure students become aware of these. Following this premise, giving students the opportunity to have an active role in the lessons can also have a positive impact on creating a proper classroom environment, this said, teachers by encouraging students’ participation, are also fostering values such as respect and tolerance. (Ministry of Education, 2008, p.23) thus, strategies such as keeping a checklist with students participation in each lesson, can assure students equality of opportunities. Another aspect, I think I have to pay more attention in the classroom, is the proper usage of strategies for building confidence and self-esteem in students not only to foster these personality traits individually, but also to help students feel confidence and secure among them, to help them feel part of a group of people, to improve their relationship with their peers and teachers by using strategies for building rapport since, according to Brookfield (1990) and Tiberius (1993) as cited in (Smith, N/D) these 15.

(16) strategies can help in the classroom to improve learning outcomes and increase students’ participation. Likewise, Kumaravadivelu (2011) pointed out that providing students the opportunity to become autonomous learners by giving them the necessary tools to self-direct their learning process it is also a significant factor in building self-confidence and self-esteem as students lose the fear of making mistakes and being mocked by their peers. (Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 24) Conclusion Teaching a foreign language has always been a difficult task, and managing students to communicate in a target language without insecurities does not make things any easier, however, it is not impossible. Hence having the chance to take these difficulties and turn them into challenges is the most suitable thing to do. It takes time and a lot of hard work, but in light of the fact that teaching students how to communicate in another language can be considered as "a profoundly unsettling psychological proposition because it directly threatens an individual's self-concept and worldview” (Guiora as cited in Howirtz et al 2012, p.2) it is necessary for teachers to provide strategies to make students feel secure and confidence. Likewise, teachers must be aware that several obstacles will come up while trying to teach a foreign language, for example, students’ reaction will not always be positive since just as it takes time to teachers to implement such strategies, it takes time to students to get used to a certain teaching style. Also, once students are used to the new teaching style, there must be conscious that not all of them will achieve a positive outcome; in fact some of them will take more time in increasing self-confidence and self-esteem than most of their peers. With this in mind, it is clear that building or improving students’ personality traits it is not a factor that teachers can make in a specific period of time, but constantly carrying it out throughout the entire students’ schooling. Following this premise, fostering positively students’ personality traits and helping them understand that making mistakes is part of life and that meaningful lessons can be learned from them, may not guarantee a successful lesson, but will lead its way through, since a positive mind “can lead to more effective learning and, in fact, may be essential for learning to occur” (Rubio, 2007, p. 13) Finally, and taking this into the intervention, as difficult as it was to foster self-confidence and selfesteem in students, most of them showed a significant change in their attitudes, being willing to try and take risks when expressing themselves in English with their peers, even though there were still some ghosts of their previous negativity to carry out speaking tasks, the fact that they are no longer forbidden themselves from doing things that might be useful for them not just for academic performance, but for 16.

(17) life, it is a big step and it confirmed that focusing “less on materials, techniques and linguistic analysis and more on what goes on inside and between the people in the classroom” (Stevick 1980 as cited in Rubio, 2007) can help make students’ learning process more rewarding and meaningful for them.. 17.

(18) Bibliography Arancibia, V; Herrera, P; Strasser, K (2011), Manual de Psicología Educativa. Universidad Católica de Chile Editions, Santiago. Bratovs, G; Privosnik, N; (2013), A Comprehensive Model For Developing Self-esteem. Institute For Developing Personal Quality. Slovenia. British Council, (2015) English in Chile. An examination of policy, perceptions and influencing factors, Education Intelligence. Brown, H.D (2007), Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Person Education Inc. NYC. Carretero, Mario (1997), Constructivismo y Educación. Paidos Edition, Mexico. Education Department (Mineduc). (2015). School general information. Mineduc. Taken from Fauziati, E; (2009) Applied Linguistics. Muhammadiyah University Press. Surakarta taken from Fernandez, E. (2007) Reseña: Self -esteem and foreign Language Learning. Universidad La Rioja Harmer, Jeremy (2007). How to teach English. Pearson Education Limited. Essex, England. Horwitz, Horwitz, Cope. (2012) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. Blackwell Publishing. Kohn, A; (1994) The Truth About Self-esteem. Phi Delta Kappan. Taken from Kumaravadivelu. (2011) Beyond Method: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching. Yale University. Ministry of Education (2008). Marco para la Buena Enseñanza. Mineduc. Santiago, Chile. Ministry of Education (2009). National Curriculum Framework. Mineduc, Santiago, Chile. Ministry of Education (2009) English Syllabus for Tenth Grade. Mineduc, Santiago, Chile. Ministry of Education (2012) Curricular Bases. Mineduc, Santiago, Chile..

(19) Ministry of Education (2016) English Textbook for Tenth Grade. Mineduc, Santiago, Chile Reasoner, R. (1991). Self-esteem in secondary schools. Palo Alto. Consulting Psychologists Press. Reasoner, R. (1992). You Can Bring Hope to Failing Students. School Administrator. Reasoner, R. (2013). Building Self-esteem. Consulting Psychologist Press. Richards, Jack (2006). Communicative Language Teaching Today. Cambridge University Press, New York, U.S.A Rubio, F. (2007) Self-esteem and Foreign Language Learning. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Newcastle, Uk. Subsidized School (2016). Institutional Project. Santiago, Chile. Sato, M; Ballinger, S. (2006) Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Shulman (2004). Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reform. Standford University. Smith, Adam. (S.F) Building (an Mainting) Rapport in the Classroom. Texas Tech University Department..

(20) Appendix 1. Encuesta sobre evaluación oral A continuación se presentan una serie de preguntas relacionadas con la evaluación oral, estas preguntan tienen como objetivo conocer sus opiniones sobre las actividades orales de la clase de inglés. Los datos que se logren obtener de esta encuesta son confidenciales, lo que quiere decir que la encuesta es ANÓNIMA. Se requiere total seriedad y honestidad. Sobre las actividades orales en clases 1. Responda las siguientes preguntas: a) ¿Cómo se sintió durante las actividades orales en clases? ¿por qué?. 2. Conteste con la alternativa que más se acerque a lo que usted piensa: Siendo 1 muy inseguro – 2 inseguro – 3 un poco seguro – 4 muy seguro ¿Cómo se sintió cuando el profesor hacia preguntas a toda la clase?. 1. 2. 3. ¿Cómo se sintió cuando el profesor hacia preguntas individuales? ¿Cómo se sintió cuando el profesor formaba las parejas o equipos de trabajo? ¿Cómo se sintió cuando hablaba en inglés con sus compañeros de equipo? ¿Cómo se sintió cuando hablaba en inglés frente a sus compañeros? ¿Cómo se sintió al tener un monitor en su equipo? Sobre la evaluación oral 3. ¿Cómo se sintió durante la evaluación oral? a) Muy Confiado (a) b) Confiado (a) 4. ¿Por qué?. c) Un poco confiado (a). d) Desconfiado. 4.

(21) Appendix 2 Prueba Oral Nombre: ___________________________________ Puntaje: ____/30 Nota: _____ Nombre: ___________________________________ Puntaje: ____/30 Nota: _____ Criterios. Nivel 4. Nivel 3. Nivel 2. Nivel 1. Claridad del habla. Se entiende lo que dice en su totalidad. Se entiende lo que dice salvo en 3 ocasiones. Se entiende lo que dice de manera intermitente. Generalmente no se entiende lo que dice. Vocabulario. Utiliza y reconoce todo el vocabulario de la unidad. Utiliza y reconoce el vocabulario de la unidad. Salvo en 3 ocasiones. Utiliza y reconoce el vocabulario de la unidad de manera intermitente. No utiliza ni reconoce el vocabulario de la unidad. Contestar preguntas. Contesta con precisión todas las preguntas sin traducirlas. Contesta con precisión todas las preguntas. Salvo una.. Contesta con precisión la mitad de las preguntas. Contesta con precisión solo una pregunta. Errores gramaticales. No hay errores gramaticales. Hay 3 errores gramaticales. Hay 4 errores gramaticales. Hay más de 4 errores gramaticales. Actitud. Demuestra una actitud positiva. Demuestra una actitud positiva la mayor parte del tiempo. No demuestra una actitud positiva. Puntaje. 6 pts.. 4 pts.. Demuestra una actitud positiva solo con algunas preguntas 2 pts.. 1 pt..