M ED English Proposal 2019 | TU Thesis Proposal
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The present study is about the “Proficiency of Grade 12 Students in Listening English Songs”. This chapter includes general background, review of related literature, objectives of the study and significance of the study.
PROFICIENCY OF GRADE 12 STUDENTS IN LISTENING ENGLISH SONGS
1.1 General Background
Listening is the pre-requisite for speaking. Why, usually, the deaf people dumb, is the fact that they could not learn to speak due to the lack of listening. Children can only speak after they listen.
Students need to be able to listen to a variety of things in a number of different ways. In the first place, they need to be able to recognize paralinguistic clues such as intonation in order to understand mood and meaning. They also need to be able to listen for specific information (such as times, platform numbers, etc), and sometimes for mere general understanding (when they are listening to a story or interacting in a social conversation). A lot will depend on the particular genres they are working with.
Most students want to be able to understand what people are saying to them in English, either face-to-face, on TV or on the radio, in theatres and cinemas, or on tape, CDs or other recorded media. But, it turns to be difficult mostly, for the non-native students of English because the way people speak is often significantly different from the way they write. Furthermore, the students have got very least exposure to the English spoken by native English speakers.
Listening is not only beneficial to improve listening itself but is good for our students’ pronunciation too. The more hear and understand English spoken, the more they can absorb appropriate pitch and intonation, stress and the sound which are typical features of spoken language by the help of which they can understand individual words and those which blend together in connected speech. That’s why, listening texts are good pronunciation models. Indeed, successful spoken communication depends not just on the students’ ability to speak, but also on the effectiveness of the way we listen.
The way that teachers talk to student the manner in which they interact with them is one of the crucial teacher skills, but that does not mean that it needs technical expertise. It does, however, require teachers to emphasize with the people they are talking to by establishing a good rapport with them. The ones who seem to find it fairly natural to adapt their language to their audience are parents when they talk to their young children. As Harmer (2008, p. 37) says:
Studies show that they use exaggerated tones of voice and speak with less complex grammatical structures than they would if they were talking to adults. Their vocabulary is generally more restricted, they make more frequent attempts to establish eye contact and they use other forms of physical contact. They generally do these things unconsciously.
Furthermore, Harmer (2008, pp. 135-36) has discussed about some principles of listening:
Principle 1: Encourage students to listen as often and as much as possible
The more students listen, the better they get at listening- and the better they get at understanding pronunciation and at using it appropriately themselves. One of our main tasks, therefore, will be to use as much listening in class as possible, and to encourage students to listen to as much English as they can (via the Internet, podcast, CDs, tapes, etc.)
Principle 2: Help students prepare to listen
Students need to be made ready to listen. This means they will need to look at pictures, discuss the topic, or read the questions first, for example, in order to be in a position to predict what is coming. This is not just that they are in the right frame of mind (and are thinking about the topic), but also so that they are engaged with the topic and the task and really want to listen.
Principle 3: Once may not be enough
There are almost no occasions when the teacher will play an audio track only once. Students will want to hear it again to pick up the things they missed the first time- and we may well want them to have a chance to study some of the language features on the tape.
In the case of live listening, students should be encouraged to ask for repetition and clarification when they need it.
The first listening to a text is often used just to give students an idea of what the speakers sound like, and what the general topic is ( see principle 5) so that subsequent listenings are easier for them. For subsequent listening, we may stop the audio track at various points, or only play extracts from it. However, we will have to ensure that we don’t go on and on working with the same audio track.
Principle 4: Encourage students to respond to the content of a listening, not just to the language.
An important part of a listening sequence is for teachers to draw out the meaning of what is being said, discern what is intended and find out what impression it makes on the students. Questions such as ‘Do you agree with what they say?’ and ‘Did you7 find the listening interesting? Why?’ are just as important as questions like ‘What language did she use to invite him?’ However, any listening material is also useful for studying language use and a range of pronunciation issues.
Principle 5: Different listening stages demand different listening tasks.
Because there are different things we want to do with a listening text, we need to set different tasks for different listening stages. This means that, for a first listening, the task (s) may need to be fairly straightforward and general. The way, the students’ general understanding and response can be successful- and the stress associated with listening can be reduced.
Later listenings, however, may focus in on detailed information, language use or pronunciation etc. will be the teachers’ job to help students to focus it on what they are listening for.
Principle 6: Good teachers exploit listening texts to the full.
If teacher ask students to invest time and emotional energy in a listening text- and if they themselves have spent time choosing and preparing the listening sequence- then it makes sense to use the audio track or live listening experience for as many different applications as possible. Thus, after an initial listening, the teacher can play a track again for various kinds of study before using the subject matter, situation or audioscript for a new activity. The listening then becomes an important event in a teaching sequence rather than just an exercise by itself.
The language e.g. skills listening, speaking, reading and writing are not only in while learning a language but also in real life situation. However, in the real life situation, some language specialists focus more on reading and writing neglecting listening and speaking. American linguist William Moulton, in a report prepared for the 9th International Congress of Linguists, emphasized that language teaching methodology should be based on “speech, not writing” (Richards and Rodgers, 1995: 49). In Nepal, the English language learning situation is concerned its written exposure which is inadequate for the learners; particularly in the field of authentic listening materials. Therefore, this study had attempted to find out the usage and effectiveness of materials in teaching listing skill.
1.1.1 Language Skills: An Introduction
Learning a new language is not an easy task. Language is a network of systems and rules. Students need to understand the system. Language is also composed of different skills, mainly, listening, speaking, reading and writing. The first two are said to the primary ones and second the secondary. Let’s discuss about these skills in brief:
Reading skill is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intension of deriving meaning and/ or constructing meaning. Written information is received by the retina, processed by the primary visual cortex and interpreted in wernicke’s area. Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication and of sharing information and ideas.
Although reading printed text is now an important way for the general population to access information, this has not always been the case. With some exceptions, only a small percentage of the population in many countries was considered literate before the industrial revolution. It is often said that ‘reading opens the gate of knowledge’. The people who cannot identify graphic symbols and read them are called illiterate. Literacy is the ability to read and write, illiteracy is usually caused by not having had the opportunity to learn these concepts. Dyslexia refers to a difficulty with reading and writing. This term refers to two types of disorders: developmental dyslexia is a learning disability, alexia or acquired dyslexia refers to reading difficulties that occur following brain damage. Among the normal people reading works as an evidence of their intellect.
Often the text relates to the object, such as an address on an envelope, product info on packaging, or text on a traffic or street sign. A slogan may be printed on a wall. A text may also be produced by arranging stones of different colour in a wall or road. Short texts like these are sometimes referred to as environmental print. We are confronted with various types of texts in different forms in our real life and if we are unable to read and understand them, then it may even, sometimes, cause great loss or some kind of incidents. So, the people who lack the reading comprehension ability are left far behind the sight in the modern world. Those people find it difficult to survive and they feel that reading is, in fact, an evidence of intellect.
Reading is an intensive process in which the eyes quickly move to assimilate text. Very little is actually seen accurately. It is necessary to understand visual perception and eye movement in order to understand the reading process. Doff (2005, p. 104) states that “Reading involves looking at sentences and words recognizing them and understanding them- it is a process of making sense of written language.” The first step to read is to be able to recognize the graphic symbols in isolation and then in the context. Comprehension of the text is the main aim of reading skill. It is therefore, that reading encompasses varieties of skills.
Munby (1979, cited in Grellet 1981, p. 4) in the communicative syllabus design, lists some of the main skills of reading as follows:
Harmer (2001, p. 201) also gives the following reading skills:
Similarly, Heaton (1988, p. 105/6) gives the following reading skills:
Writing skill is also one of the means to communicate or transfer message by using written symbols. Francis Bacon (cited in Sharma and Phyak 2006, p. 254.) states that “reading makes the full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man.” It is the writing system which enables us to read the materials of thousands of years ago and enables us to know something about it. Widdowson (1978, cited in Khaniya, 2005, p. 147) defines it as “Writing is the act of making up correct sentences and transmitting them through the visual medium as marks on paper”. It is the process of recording information to be read later. Writing is the productive skill which involves manipulating, structuring and communicating.
Speaking skill is an ability to express the message verbally. It is a productive skill since a speaker produces something verbally. Generally, we come in contact with many people. These may be friends, relatives, seniors, juniors, foreigners etc. We do not need to be able to read or write to communicate with these people in our daily life. We cannot find out the reading and writing abilities of all those who are in contact with us. We exchange greetings when we meet someone on the way, interact with each other, communicate message and bid a bye. We do it all by means of speaking. We maintain a cordial relationship, friendship and improve solidarity or earn enemies, insult other, be rude to them and create hostility all by means of speaking. Whatever, speaking is widely used and very important means of interaction in daily life.
Listening skill is a receptive skill, for a listener receives something through ears. The sounds produced orally are received by the ears. Listening skill refers to the skill to listen and understand the message. Underwood (1989, cited in Sharma and Phyak, 2008 p. 198) defined listening as an “activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear.” It means trying to understand the oral message people are conveying. Listening skills could be acquired through exposure but not really taught. Every human being starts learning language first by listening to it from the very early days of his/ her childhood. So, the amount of exposure plays a great role to develop listening skill. No one can speak until s/he listens. Listening is not so easy process as it seems to be. It involves an active cognitive processing i.e. the construction of message in mind on the basis of what has been spoken. Therefore, it is a creative and active process.
188.8.131.52 Listening Comprehension
Beginning in the early 70’s, work by Asher, Postovsky, Winitz and, later, Krashen, brought attention to the role of listening as a tool for understanding and emphasized it as a key factor in facilitating language learning. Thus, listening has emerged as an important component in the process of second language acquisition (Feyten, 1991).
According to Howatt and Dakin (1974), listening is the ability to identify and understand what others are saying. This process involves understanding a speaker’s accent or pronunciation, the speaker’s grammar and vocabulary, and comprehension of meaning. An able listener is capable of doing these four things simultaneously.
Thomlison’s (1984) definition of listening includes “active listening,” which goes beyond comprehending as understanding the message content, to comprehension as an act of empathetic understanding of the speaker.
Furthermore, Gordon (1985) argues that empathy is essential to listening and contends that it is more than a polite attempt to identify a speaker’s perspectives. Rather more importantly, empathetic understanding expands to “egocentric prosocial behavior”. Thus, the listener altruistically acknowledges concern for the speaker’s welfare and interests.
Ronald and Roskelly (1985) define listening as an active process requiring the same skills of prediction, hypothesizing, checking, revising, and generalizing that writing and reading demand; and these authors present specific exercises to make students active listeners who are aware of the “inner voice” one hears when writing.
According to Bulletin (1952), listening is the fundamental language skill. It is the medium through which people gain a large portion of their education, their information, their understanding of the world and of human affairs, their ideals, sense of values, and their appreciation. In this day of mass communication, much of it oral, it is of vital importance that students are taught to listen effectively and critically.
According to second language acquisition theory, language input is the most essential condition of language acquisition. As an input skill, listening plays a crucial role in students’ language development. Krashen (1985) argues that people acquire language by understanding the linguistic information they hear. Thus language acquisition is achieved mainly through receiving understandable input and listening ability is the critical component in achieving understandable language input. Given the importance of listening in language learning and teaching, it is essential for language teachers to help students become effective listeners. In the communicative approach to language teaching, this means modeling listening strategies and providing listening practice in authentic situations: precisely those that learners are likely to encounter when they use the language outside the classroom.
With a greater understanding of language quality and the development of teaching theory, there has been a recognition of the process of listening comprehension as needing greater emphasis. Listening is an invisible mental process, making it difficult to describe. However, it is recognized by Wipf (1984) that listeners must discriminate between sounds, understand vocabulary and grammatical structures, interpret stress and intonation, understand intention and retain and interpret this within the immediate as well as the larger socio-cultural context of the utterance. Rost (2002) defines listening, in its broadest sense, as:
“A process of receiving what the speaker actually says (receptive orientation); constructing and representing meaning (constructive orientation); negotiating meaning with the speaker and responding (collaborative orientation); and, creating meaning through involvement, imagination and empathy (transformative orientation). Listening, then, is a complex, active processes of interpretation in which listeners match what they hear with what they already know.”
Listening strategies are techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of listening input. Listening strategies can be classified by how the listener processes the input.
Top-down strategies are listener based; the listener taps into background knowledge of the topic, the situation or context, the type of text, and the language. This background knowledge activates a set of expectations that help the listener to interpret what is heard and anticipate what will come next.
Top-down strategies include:
Bottom-up strategies are text based in which the listener relies on the language in the message, that is, the combination of sounds, words, and grammar that creates meaning. Bottom-up strategies include:
Listening comprehension tends to be an interactive, interpretive process in which listeners use prior knowledge and linguistic knowledge in understanding messages. Listeners use metacognitive, cognitive and socio-affective strategies to facilitate comprehension and to make their learning more effective. Metacognitive strategies are important because they regulate and direct the language learning process. Research shows that skilled listeners use more metacognitive strategies than their less-skilled counterparts (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990, Vandergrift, 1997a). The use of cognitive strategies helps students to manipulate learning materials and apply specific techniques to a listening task. Socio-affective strategies describe the techniques listeners use to collaborate with others, to verify understanding or to lower anxiety.
1.1.2 Importance of Listening Skill
There is one saying on the regard of computer ‘Garbage in Garbage out’(complied by Sthapit et al. 1994 adopted from We’re in Business by Susan Norman). If we input bad things in the computer the output will also be bad. Thus, we know that the main source of input of our mind is listening. If we listen incorrect things or even listen correct things but interpret it incorrectly then it will be worthless or sometimes harmful. Underwood (1989:1), says,
“Listening is the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear. To listening successfully to spoken language, we need to be able to work out what speakers mean when they use particular words in particular ways on particular occasions, and not simply to understand the words themselves. A speaker saying ‘You’re late’ for example, may be wishing to convey any one of a range of meanings: simply stating the fact that you have arrived late, or complaining because he/she has had to wait, or expressing surprise because he/she did not expect you to arrive late. What the speaker means lies only partly in the words spoken, and you, as the listener, must recognise and interpret the other factors which are used to convey the message to you.”
Therefore, our brain mechanisms process the data which are received through the ears. Received data should be correct otherwise the interpretation of the data will be meaningless. In the very beginning of language learning, the learner has to listen the same things many times to understand the spoken text. If we listen more then we speak more. Speech comprehension or listening is an active knowledge guided process.
O’Connor (ibid:5) warns and says,
“A tape recorder will not do the job for you; it is a useful instrument, but it is not a magic wand which will make your English perfect without any effort from you. It is useful only because it enables you to listen to yourself from the outside . . .”
Communication is not a one way process; there should be speaker and listener. If the listener can not understand the speaker because of his poor listening skill then the communication can not succeed. That is why there should be good ear training for good listening. Language learning means to be able to communicate with the language. To communicate, the listener should have good listening skill. To make the students competent in listening skill, the language teacher has to make his listening class effective. Teaching materials help to make the class effective.
Listening comprehension depends upon the purpose or reason of listening. The purpose of listening will be many and varied, depending on what they need and wish to do. According to Galvin as quoted by Underwood (ibid: 4) there are five main reasons for listening:
Underwood (ibid: 5) points out other listening situations for which teachers should prepare their students. That include: listening to live conversations in which one takes no part; usually referred to as ‘eavesdropping’.
These situations help students to get the exposure wide variety of spoken language. In the same way teaching listening is of no any use if students cannot understand those forms of spoken language that they face in their day to day life. Students should be able to understand formal as well as informal language as spoken by their seniors, friends and strangers etc. They should not only be restricted to the classroom and be given practices to the students-teacher dialogues. Classroom teaching should not only be exam concerned.
Listening is an important skill which triggers speaking. Children start speaking only after a long period of listening. They can understand English news only after they listen it many times. Similarly, they can grasp English songs only after a lot of exposure to it. A tedious lecture of teachers cannot make students proficient in listening English songs. Teachers should also focus on practice as “practice makes man perfect” universalizes the fact.
Listening skill got a narrow space just some years before in our curriculum of secondary level and it has got 8% marks in SLC. Listening has been treated and taught separately in the present but there is not such treatment in higher secondary level has not been able to address this issue till the date though the importance of this skill as the foundation of other three language skills have been realized.
184.108.40.206 Types of Listening Materials
There are different types of materials that can be used for teachers listening. Generally, they are classified into two types: recorded and live materials.
220.127.116.11.1 Recorded Materials
The materials that include the records of real life dialogues of native or non-native speakers that can be used in classrooms for giving students the exposure of language are called recorded materials. The recorded materials have the advantage over live ones that they provide a variety of voices in a narrow classrooms to students at a single sitting.
Cross (1992, p. 250) classifies the recorded materials into three main categories: authentic, scripted, and semi-scripted texts.
These are the recordings made from the radio, live recordings of the language in the street or market place recording to unedited and unscripted talks or discussions, and so on. They are suitable for advanced classes for the most part, as we can exercise no control over the content.
These are recordings of fluent speakers reading exactly what is on a page, but trying to sound spontaneous. Published textbook support materials are of this sort. They are representative of the ways in which people really speak to each other, but they can be very useful, though. They are certainly better than no listening at all.
These are the useful compromise for learners who want the exercise some control in listening and some of them want a class to hear more or less authentic forms of listening recorded materials. So, the speakers are given guidelines or a list of points in abbreviated form and they are to express these ideas their own ways. These types of texts are more practical than other type of recorded listening texts.
18.104.22.168.2 Live Materials
The face to face interaction without using any recorded materials, mostly teachers’ own voice, can be recognized as live materials. Live materials have an advantage over recorded one that students can get visual clues in front of them, they can raise their queries immediately and ask for the clarification and interpretation.
1.2 Importance of English Songs
Music has been an important means of entertainment for human beings since ancient time. Song is an inseparable part of human life. We can learn about the culture and traditions, customs and values etc. of the particular community from the songs. Students can listen to the English songs and leazrn about words that how they are pronounced. A song can have wide variety of words which can be beneficial for the students to practice their listening skill. Teachers have to play the English songs in the classrooms and give a lot of practice to students to develop their listening ability. Songs can be integrated while teaching language especially, listening skill, whenever students start understanding pronunciation of words in songs, they start enjoying the English songs and they can listen to the songs themselves. Finally, we get their pronunciation better and better day by day and their score of vocabulary doubled geometrically.
1.3 Review of Related Literature
Chapagain (1999) conducted a research on “Use of Teaching Materials and it’s Impact in English Language Learning”. In this study, he has given the history of teaching materials as well. He states that the history of teaching materials in Nepal started with the publication of a textbook prepared at the time of Rana Prime Minister Dev Shamsher. The primary teaching materials were a few textbook and blackboard. The textbooks also were not sufficient by then. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of teaching materials in language teaching and to suggest the effective use of teaching materials. The researcher selected sixth grade students of public school from Panchthar District as primary sources and curriculum, textbook, dictionaries, grammar book were used as a secondary source. The tool used for the collection of data was test items. After the analysis and interpretation of data, it was concluded that teaching materials are integral part of the English language teaching and they have very positive impact in learning English. They not only aid a positive dimension in maintaining the result percent but also improve the entire language proficiency in English.
Acharya (2001) carried out a research to find out the effectiveness of recorded materials and live materials in teaching listening. It was found that recorded materials are slightly better than the live materials in teaching listening.
Limbu (2002) conducted a research entitled” Effects of animated films on the development of the spoken fluency in the children”. Her main objectives was to find out the contribution of animated English films to improve the spoken fluency of the secondary level students. She found that the different between the results of pre and post tests of experimental group was greater than the non-experimental group. The development of spoken fluency of the experimental group was found significantly greater. She also recommended to use animated films in teaching spoken English whenever possible. Curriculum planner should consider the use of animated films to make language teaching and learning more fun and realistic for the young learners.
Satyal (2003) carried out a research to find out the effectiveness of visual aids in teaching English at primary level. It was found that the use of visual aids in teaching at primary level is fruitful and effective
In similar way, Pandey (2007) conducted a research on ‘Effectiveness of Imitation Drill in Teaching Pronunciation’. He attempted to find out the effectiveness of imitation drill in teaching pronunciation and compare the students’ pronunciation in terms of boys’ versus girl’ performance. He concluded that the experimental group was found much better than the control group. The experimental group excelled the control group by 8.05 percent in the total performance. Moreover, he concluded that the boys of experimental group performed better than the boys of control group and the girls of experimental group performed better than the girls of controlled group by 3.83 percent in the post tests. In total performance, girls of experimental group performed better than the boys of experimental group.
Another research on Effectiveness of authentic materials was carried out by Ghimire (2007). He conducted a research on “Effectiveness of Authentic Materials in Teaching Reading Comprehension”. This study aimed at finding the effectiveness of authentic material in teaching reading comprehension and suggesting some pedagogical impactions. The researcher selected ninth grade students of Butwal Glory Boarding Higher Secondary School of Rupandehi District as the population of this study. The findings were that the authentic materials were of paramount importance in teaching reading comprehension. The students were highly motivated when authentic materials were used in teaching learning activities. That is why the researcher recommended that there should be the use of authentic material in teaching reading comprehension.
In the same way, Ghimire (2007) carried out a research on ‘The Effectiveness of Visual Aids in Teaching Vocabulary’. The objective of his study was to find out effectiveness of visual aids in teaching vocabulary. He carried out the research through experimental research and found out that the students learned vocabulary effectively if visual aids were used.
Although some researches are conducted in the area of visual aids and other materials used in teaching-learning in classroom; No research yet is carried out on the English songs which can contribute to improve the listening skill of the higher secondary students. I used questionnaire as my research tool. So my study will be unique from any researches carried out in the department so far.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objectives:
1.5 Significance of the Study
English is an international language. English films and songs are seen and heard only in Europe and America but the trend of watching and listening English movies and songs are increasing day by day all around the world. Our youngster adolescents are not untouched with them. If we take it positively, then they can give a good deal of exposure of English language to our students. Furthermore, their level of understanding to the English songs can tell to teachers whether their teaching listening was effective or not. Even, the syllabus designers can assess the quality of the text they have incorporated in the course. This study will also be useful for curriculum experts to revisit their objectives and the teaching materials they have designed. This study will, in fact, be beneficial for the naïve researchers, linguists, teachers, course designers, textbook writers, students and others who are related to teaching and learning. This study will also flash out the reality whether the students are listening English songs with understanding or they are listening just for romance or just hanging with the modern technologies, whether they are listening to the lyrics or to the music and tune only. The present study will also go on engraving the reality of teenagers who are found listening English songs, are really getting something out of listening English songs or they are only betraying their Nepali songs.
I will adopt the following methodology to fulfill the objectives of my study.
2.1 Sources of Data
I will use both types of sources of information to collect the data i.e. primary and secondary for my study. But primary sources will be on the basis for the collection of my data.
2.1.1 Primary Sources of Data
I will obtain the first hand data from the students of 12 class studying in different higher secondary schools of Kathmandu valley. So, those 12 class students will be the primary sources for the collection of my data.
2.1.2 Secondary Sources of Data
Various books, especially Bulletin (1952), Howatt and Dakin (1974), Thomlison’s (1984), Ellis, (1985), Gordon (1985), Larsen-Freeman (1985), Krashen (1985), Underwood (1989), Cross (1992), Doff (1992), Gardner (1993), reports articles, research studies, internet related to the topic and theses of the Department of English Education will be used as secondary sources of data.
2.2 Population of the Study
Population for the study will be 40 students of class 12. These students will be selected from the 4 higher secondary schools of Kathmandu valley. Twenty students will be girls and 20 boys from each campus.
2.3 Sampling Procedure
The four colleges from Kathmandu valley will be selected purposively. Ten students from each of these colleges will be selected randomly using fishbowl draw method. Fifty percent of boys and fifty percent of girls will be taken as the sample for the study.
2.4 Tools of Data Collection
Tools for the collection of my data will be four type of songs i.e. love song, rock, pop and sentimental.
2.4 Process of Data Collection
I will follow the following stepwise procedure to collect the required information for my study.
2.5 Limitations of the Study
The study has the following limitations:
The data collected through questionnaire will be analyzed and presented along with description and presentation of different graphs, charts, tables etc.
On the basis of the analysis and interpretation of the data collected, findings will be deduced and some pedagogical implications will also be suggested.
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