The reasoning behind this action research and why I decided to carry it out is that students are not taking full advantage of the classes because of their misbehavior. They want to participate and they want to learn, but all the interruptions and the constant noise inside the classroom does not help to achieve the goal of the class and the participation of the students ends up being just between the teacher and the student who is trying to participate without the rest of the class taking notice of this. I do not want them to be completely quiet because that is not a sign that they are learning but I want them to learn to follow rules and to respect their classmates when they are speaking. In order to create a positive learning environment inside the classroom, I need toimprovemyclassroommanagementskills. This way, all of the actors of the classcan feel safe and comfortable during the learning time. They want to learn and I want them to learn, but in order for this to happen, the classroom needs to be an appropriate environment to enhance and develop learning.
Finally, a third factor that affected my investigation is related to external issues such as students’ previous knowledge and sitting arrangement. I realized that students lacked vocabulary which often prevented them from interacting orally in the activities carried out. The students’ lack of vocabulary made oral activities difficult to come to an end. However, this issue is the subject of other research that I was not intended to investigate. Furthermore, the way they were arranged in the classroom was detrimental to the flow of the class and significant accomplishment of the activities planned, due to students could be distracted easily and it was easier for them to disrupt the class. On one opportunity, students were placed in the traditional way in four rows with two students per table, and it was the only time in which they could perform all activities in a very comfortable way for them and for me as the teacher. I was neither allowed to change their places not taking them somewhere else. These factors can certainly be improved, and are important elements that have to be taken into consideration in my future practice; in order to keep my goals in relation to the students’ learning process.
The second steps of this Action Research were to find resources and develop strategies. In the first part, the researcher searched for literature review that could support her Action Research and also, she chose the ones that were favorable for her study. In the second part, the researcher started to develop strategies that could be helpful for this Action Research. At this point, the researcher was able to identify different methods that could be applied with young learners that could foster participation and interaction. Nonetheless, without forgetting the use of the English textbook as a mandatory aspect of this particular context. The chosen methods were: routines and games. In the case of routines, they were used to divide the classroom into different steps in order to simplify the lesson for the students and also, to provide spaces in which they could be active participants of the lesson itself. The routines were established as starting routines and ending routines, as well as using brain breakers and attention getters. In the case of games, they were used to allow the students interact more among them and with the teacher and also, to actively participate during the lesson. Moreover, the researcher included the use of flashcards, mystery bags and praising during the lessons. These last strategies were used to motivate the students throughout the lessons and to increase interaction and participation as well.
At the beginning of the first semester, when I was observing my host teacher’s lessons, I realized that classes were given in Spanglish and that students did not make any effort when it comes touseEnglish in the class. The instructions were given in English, then, as students did not understand, my host teacher tried touse gestures. However, she ended up giving instructions in Spanish anyway. When I started teaching, I had problems with this due to when I started using EnglishI lost half of the class. They got distracted because they did not understand whatI was saying. For this reason, I felt forced touse Spanish to get their attention, but at the same time, I felt uncomfortable. From that moment on, I tried touseEnglish and a lot of gestures, but when I felt that they were not understanding, I used Spanglish. I noticed that when I was giving
When we think about language we shall think on communication as a human systemic method, either written or spoken. Moreover, according to the online Cambridge Dictionary, language is a system of communication consisting of sounds, words and grammar, that is to say, a system to express feelings, opinions , etc ,either verbally, written or any manner that you choose to do it. Hence, we need to understand the importance of language as a tool of communication, especially, when teaching and learning a second language, which in this case is English. As teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL), we need to ensure that all the abilities that concern language, that is to say the four skills: reading, speaking, listening and writing, are correctly achieved in order to have a prosperous communicative relationship in the classroom. Therefore, I have realized that speaking performance is one of the weakest of the four skills in the classI will analyse throughout this research, and it needs to be ensure carefully and dynamically taught in order to keep our students interested and challenged. We as EFL teachers know the burdens when getting our students to produce and achieve a suitable level of proficiency when they have to express themselves orally or answer inside the classroom in a language that is not familiar for them.
the lesson and it will be developed as a whole class. The teacher will show the students different movie scenes, but first they will be told to pay special attention to the characters and actions that take place on each one. Then, after watching each scene, students in groups of three to four will answer true or false to a set of four statements related to the movie clips. Since they will not have the opportunity to read the statement before watching the scene, there is no way for them to know what they have to observe. Therefore, they have to be fully attentive in every moment so then they can put their memories and comprehension to the test. Each group will have five minutes to discuss the exercise, and then, they will check as a whole class.
material was introduced to them. This time, I did hear some comments of some students, complaining about how boring was working with the book, and I did see other students not working on the assigned task, leaving their books under their table, or just throwing them to the floor. In the middle of the class, my guide teacher asked some students to go out of the classroom, and to go and play in the playground. I was wondering why when my guide teacher and I got out of the classroom, and she asked me about my impression regarding the group. I told her I thought they were very active, that they were constantly moving around the classroom, extremely talkative, but I did like the group, I thought that I could do a great job with them, and then I asked her why she told me that that group was different. She replied that this group was different because whatI saw, and that there are some students with special needs, so I asked her about them, how teacher work with them, and she told me there was no plan, and they should adapt themselves to the rest of the group, and the class prepared for the whole group, and if they did not, they went sent outside to play, or to breathe some air and go back to the classroom. I was sort of shocked regarding her answer, but right after that I told her that I would like to do my Action Research Project with that group, with 1 st grade B, because I felt we could improve things in the classroom, and prepare material suitable for all of them, thinking on their age, their needs, and also their likes. She agreed, looking at me enthusiastically.
Indubitably, immersing into the seas of doing Action Research has given me a new way for not only problematizing, but also reflecting upon my own teaching practice. Particularly, in this Action Research project, I have come up with some statements that led me to conclude that my Research question can be answered. These statements are that, indeed, there are strategies that can be implemented in the classroom that can help to engage students. Nonetheless, those strategies also depend on the context, class stages and activities in which engagement strategies are going to be conveyed. Therefore, the most useful strategies for engaging students are talking about myself, used in the post stage of the class; games for the pre stages of the class; missing and unusual information about a topic and mild pressure for the while stages of the class and body movement strategy used in the transition from a while to post activities in the class. By means, body movement strategy, more than helping for engaging students, it rather helps for re-engaging students, it helps to them “wake up” and reconnect with the class, so it was a good idea touse this strategy in the transition that occurs from the end of a while activity to the beginning of the post stage activity of the lesson.
assignment when working in groups. Some of these samples can be found on Appendix D. To sum up the explanation of the first intervention on myclass, it is proper to explain that I found the problem withmy students was that they did not know how to organize themselves when working in groups. Therefore, the purpose of interaction in English was hindered. That is the reason why I decided to observe my students and also, to make them answer a survey about their perceptions about their experience when working in groups. As I carried it out and also, analyzed their answers, I could realize that even when my students like working in teams, they did not have clear the issue of what collaboration means in a group. As an illustration, I am providing the analysis of some answers that called my attention that were related to the roles their classmates have in their groups. While some of my students thought that working in groups was equal to give grades to classmates that do not work, there were others that thought the contrary. Finally, at the end of the survey, students answered an open question giving their opinion about whatto do toimprove team work. There, some classmates exposed the need of roles when working as a team.
Students were not very enthusiast about the strategies, there was one student who said “ay Camila leer que lata” There were other two who said “para qué vamos a hacer esto”. Hence, I saw that they were not very eager to see what was coming next. I took advantage of negative comments, and my introduction to the topic was to ask them whether it is easy to read in English, most of the class said “Noooo”. I asked why one of them said “Porque los temas son muy fomes de repente” Another said “porque a veces no entiendo na” When the student said that I told them that today’s class was about “Reading strategies” and that this would help them no matter what their level was, but they needed to take notes so that they can have a reference when they need tousestrategies.
According to Brown (1994), there are two main aspects inside the speaking competence that are accurate for this Action research; these are Accuracy (correct articulation, grammar, phonology) and Fluency (use of the language, communication). Brown states that “fluency is the initial goal to achieve the speaking skill” (1994, p. 267). nonetheless, he refers to accuracy in the following way “… in message oriented teaching, language usage has a supporting role” (Brown, 1994), what means that, you do not need to focus only on accuracy, but it cannot be took apart from the speaking learning process, in order to add coherence and understanding to the students’ speech.
In my experience studying English at the university, attending different schools and acquiring their culture, I have noticed that there are two types of teachers in terms of teaching. On the one hand, a teacher who takes care about students making them remember in detail every rule of the language and at the end of the unit, he or she uses a summative assessment or test in order to summarize all the contents. This type of teacher tends to apply activities like “Fill in the gaps with the correct verb tense”, this type of activities and teaching practices focuses on reproduction of the language by memorization and use of different grammatical rules. For that reason, students are in a minimum contact withEnglish and communication is hindered by this issue. On the other hand, there is a teacher that focuses his or her teaching practice in Englishwith a purpose; basically, the purpose of communication. This teacher attempts toimprove students’ language acquisition by
After concluding this process of collecting data, I would say that the objective of this research was partially achieved. That is to say, I improved my lesson planning skills, but there is still a huge amount of things to learn in this aspect. For example, I have learnt how to imagine a class, how to plan it and the amount of activities needed in order to cover the whole class. However, I still have to consider possible problems that I may face during my classes, for instance misbehavior or disruptions related to different contexts or activities that the school may have, such as school celebrations, inspectors’ interventions or other teachers’ interventions. Furthermore, my students have noticed that the amount of activities during the different classes while and after interventions have increased in comparison withmy first classes at school.
The ongoing process of action research set a new perspective in my current and future teaching practice. Firstly, addressing discipline is not synonymous of punishment. The interventions lead me to understand that establishing strategiesto address discipline based on logical consequences is a positive mode of regulate students’ behaviour. The main benefit of this is to develop a class without spending most part of the lesson reprimand students. Furthermore, the concepts of withitness, overlapping, signal continuity and momentum provided by Garret (2014) provided me awareness about the situations happening in myclassroom. In addition to those strategies, the use of ignoring and permitting, non-verbal and verbal interventions (Hue, M., Li, W., 2008) changed the way I interact with the students and interact with emerging situations within the classroom without overwhelming.
Taking into consideration that this is a co-educational institution which receives materials from the Ministry of Education, students usually use the student’s book during lessons. Specifically in 5 th grade, students work with the student’s book every class. However, classes are not only focused on the book because they are more communicative. For instance, students discuss about different topics in pairs, and they give opinions. Moreover, the teacher relates the contents to students’ context. The teacher approaches the topics to students’ reality, and students can express their interests, likes and dislikes. Also, students often tell about their experiences inside and outside the school. It depends on the activities and the unit.
In the current times, several researchers open a discussion around the classroom that is pointed out to be an environment in which the students present a lack of willingness to participate when speaking English. If we focus on an area, such as English, where speaking is relevant, we can deduce – due to its complexity for some people - that there are tremendous possibilities that this subject can diminish students’ desires to participate in activities the teacher has planned for them. This reality can arise for different reasons: one of them is a fear of being teased by their fellow classmates. Therefore, it is necessary that the teacher be in-charge of dealing with a situation that seems rather common when we refer to learning a foreign language, English attempts to find a solution to the problem. It is indispensable to create certain strategiesto work on ways to resolve specific issues that may arise on as a daily basis and that could determine how much a student might learn.
The second and third stages presented by Wiggins and McTighe (1998) refer to Assessment Evidence and Learning Plan, which contain performance tasks and learning activities, respectively. After determining the desired results, teachers must first establish what specifically they will consider acceptable evidence for such expectations (Assessment Evidence), Wiggins and McTighe argue that this approach encourages teachers and curriculum planners to “think like an assessor” (p.18) before designing a specific unit or lesson in class. Only in the third stage do Wiggins and McTighe encourage teachers to plan learning experiences and instruction. In the sense of thinking through the most appropriate instructional activities, there are several key questions which can be useful in the backward design: “what enabling knowledge (facts, concepts, principles) and skills (processes, procedures, strategies) will students need in order to perform effectively and achieve desired results? What will be need to taught, in light of performance goals? What materials and resources are best suited to accomplish these goals?” (p. 1819).
B) Fulfilment of final group project (Third and final part of the project): Students need to present their NGO project to the rest of the class in order to expose the final decision they made. Presentations must be short and concise as to not cause stress in students with high levels of English or preparation of the presentation. Each student will have a role in their NGO groups; hence they need to explain what they did during the process of conveying a final decision. Presentations must provide information such as: “Why did we choose this NGO project”, “Why do we think it is important to help our planet”, “How do we invite people to collaborate with our project”. Each question needs to be explained in no more than three sentences, and the last one must provide a poster or draw to invite people to join their NGO; this last strategy in the fulfilment of the task is planned as to guarantee participation from members who do not enjoy writing or deciding things, but rather prefer creating things and drawing; they will still useEnglish and participate in their groups; they also need to explain why they decided touse that type of advertisement. Once all presentations are done, the entire grade will decide on a project that they want to do.
The findings and the intervention proposal presented in this research gives English teachers a resource to motivate students into Literacy that can also be applied in EFL contexts, inside of a project bssed methodology. In this sense, English teachers usually avoid team work in reading and writing activities (spelling, handwriting, among others) because they imply individual assessment of the progress or the completion of the task, however, project based classes are an effective strategy for these skills as it keeps students in task, encourages autonomous work and allows the teacher develop a student-centred class. In other words, because students have a motivating purpose for improving their spelling, handwriting, creative writing, or any other skill implied, intrinsic motivation and academic improvement are higher.
This Action Research is going to be focus on a 10 th class which is characterized by being a quiet but participative class. In this class, I have 44 students divided into 26 boys and 18 girls. The relationship between them is quite good and they are always interested in working in groups. According towhatI have experienced with them, students have a very good communication with some teachers and they are very honest, it means that when they have problems with a subject or they do not understand something about the class, they make teachers know about it. Talking about language skills, students are very well prepared in terms of English. They are able to understand what the teacher is saying in the classroom and also they can communicate and share their ideas with their peers, especially in a written way. Besides I have seen that most of the students really like to learn English which is demonstrated in their interest to understand songs, movies, short films, and even when the teacher is speaking. Although not all the members of the class understand English easily, the positive characteristic is that they show an open mind to learn many things and they always work in order to be better.