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This study investigates the importance that a teaching method has for learning a foreign language and the proficiency students develop in English language at the second level of upper primary education. The research is based on analysis of students test, background questionnaires, Teachers' questionnaire and observation written and responded by 110 students during the spring semester of the school year 2012, with the purpose of collecting data in teaching English to young language learners. These analyses helped to better observe the students' progress and lack of it taught by different approaches to learning and to understand which of these two methods was most favorable for learners. This research will try to address and collect data on the students' performance on four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). This research will be carried out in twelve-week time and its main goal will be to examine the developmental changes on the students and observe how effective these two teaching approaches will be.
Before starting the research a placement test was administered to assess the skills students have in English Language. This project will be conducted on early-aged learners for whom English is a foreign language. A group of 110 pupils aged between 12 and 14, will be used at the second semester in the primary rural district school "Ashim Agushi" Struga. They have the same ethnic background which is Albanian. The total number of students registered in this study is 110 and includes males and females.
5.2 Balancing the groups based on
Test - Before taking the test all participants were notified about the material and the necessary information. Students were tested for the first three chapters of the course book Dream Team 2. All participants were required to take the test. Its key objective was to identify in which areas students had weaknesses and strengths, so as to prevent an unequal division into groups. These tests helped me a lot to determine the students' level and their readiness in four language aspects as well as grammar and vocabulary.
From the results obtained, the tests showed that some students understood and answered very well in grammar but they had to give a great effort in vocabulary since they answered a considerable amount improperly. Also some students had a very good knowledge in vocabulary but failed to give accurate answers in grammar exercises.
Each student received the test results. The total score T shows the sum of points gathered on the two sections. The lowest score ranges from 1 to the highest of 50. Students who score 20 or bellow are students who were considered to have many problems in their skills work, those who scored below 40 could experience some difficulties, and the students who score from 40 to 50 were considered students with good or excellent proficiency in their English skills.
In order to make a fair and correct division of students in appropriate classes, all groups consisted of different types of learners, starting from low, average and good learners. After they were divided on the basis of the test scores, they were notified that each group will be taught by a different teaching method. This type of test gave me more information about the pupils' achievements and served as an indicator of where to start teaching.
After the placement test the GPA of the groups was measured in order to have groups with an approximate average, otherwise the research would not be accurate if groups differentiate in average. The GPA was measured by summing all the grades of the group and dividing the total sum with the number of the students .The three groups had a fairly accurate average of 3.63. The graphic below better illustrates how close the three groups were considering their GPA .
Group - Average 3.6
Group - Average 3.5
Group - Average 3.6
Learning inventory was a very efficient way which undoubtedly resulted extremely helpful for finding out the learning styles of the students. The elementary student leaning style inventory consisted of 30 questions, which answers revealed student's individual learning preferences. This type of questionnaire proved very supportive in choosing activities and methods that motivated and increased students' engagement in the class; given that each student has a different learning style, depending if it is kinesthetic, visual or auditory. The questionnaire was translated into students' native language for students to understand and give correct answers taking in consideration their age and their limited vocabulary knowledge of the foreign language.
Figure 10. Learning style quiz
You like to think through problems whilst exercising or walking
You are good at co-ordinating colours
You don't like sitting listening to lectures
You have a good sense of rhythem
You are good at understanding verbal instructions and explanations
You picture words in your mindto help you spell
You can easily identify what people mean from the intonations they use
You have good'dress sense'.
You ' sound out'words to help you spell
You are good at doing reading tasks
After the separation of groups was completed according to the stated criteria the Experimental group was taught by the Direct Method while the Control group was taught by the Grammar Translation Method for three months. In attendance a Free group was settled in an integrative way of teaching of both Grammar and Direct method.. The Control group was compared against the Experimental group.
The Control Group
The control group is a classroom of mixed level language learners who have the same native language. Students registered in the control group learned English as a foreign language for a period of three months by using Grammar Translation Method. In my English foreign language classroom the lesson started with presenting a short story passage to students in the foreign language. Primary the directions were given in the students' native language along with discussion about the meaning of the text. After that every sentence was translated in the students' L1. Very little attention was paid to the content of the text. Reading was practiced by dividing the class into groups of four, where half of the groups practiced reading the first section while the other groups practiced reading the middle and final section. The story was read in both languages, first in the foreign language and later in the students' native one. Also the comprehension questions were discussed in the L1 and the teacher had no difficulty in assessing whether the students had learned the presented material.
Most of the interaction between the teacher and the students was done in the native language. Even though the directions to the exercises in the book were in English the teacher always translated them in the students own language. Students were also required to translate passages into English using their prior knowledge and also bilingual dictionaries. In order to avoid direct translation of large text and to soothe the anxiety sometimes students were given some parts of the passage to facilitate their work, as a result they would have to fill only the blanks.
Along with reading, unknown words or everyday phrases were presented in a list along with their translation or definition in their L1. Sometimes this was accomplished by a weak student especially when working in groups so that even low proficiency students could partake in the lesson. Students were required to bring bilingual dictionaries with them. In addition the structure of the foreign language was compared and contrasted with the structure of the students' native language. By making this contrastive study of the target language in relation with their native language students had the chance to get an insight not only of the structure of the target language but also of their own.
In the class taught by the Grammar Translation Method the usage of the mother tongue was at a very high rank. Translation was one of the most frequent activities that were used in all lessons. Here learners were allowed to practice with a multiplicity of styles. From students were required to master the text they were required to translate, to develop a good reading knowledge and to write efficiently and clearly. They were also expected to be fast during their work and think about many things at the same time.
The deductive approach was used to explain the grammar part. The teacher presented students with long and elaborate explanations of grammar. First students were given the rule of how language works and later they were provided with different examples of how that rule is applied. Of great importance was for students to develop an excellent and correct knowledge of grammar without giving importance to the production of words or their usage in speech.
Opponents of this method declared that this method only talks about the language and does not really make a usage of the language. As Omaggio stated," this method sends a clear message that the focus of the lesson is on talking about the language rather than talking in the language." ( ) He suggests that even if students have a good knowledge of grammar rules and know how to use them appropriately in writing still they are unable to use them fluently in speaking.
The Textbook presents the grammar in a sort of sequence starting from easy to hard rules, which makes it easier for students to learn them. For example: the number and gender of nouns, comparative and superlative adjectives, expressions of quantity etc. The direct and indirect object was explained before students learned the present and the past perfect. Also the tenses were learned in progression starting from the present, to past and finally to the future.
As students had already learned the present and past tense in the previous chapters during the following program they were equipped with a lot of explanation of the future tense. First students learned the future with will and later the future with going to. The following is a brief explanation of some grammar classes taught by the grammar translation method.
The teacher first introduced the Future simple tense with will. In the students native language the teacher explained that will is used to talk about the future in general and the conjugation is the same for all verbs. The teacher preceded by giving students other uses of will and then provided students with examples. All the explanations was done in the L1 .The following examples show the three more common uses of the future tense with will.
Making predictions: In 2020 parents will be able to choose the sex of their children.
Making instant decisions: You are thirsty? I will bring you some water
Making promises or voluntary actions: I will send u an email as soon as I get there.
After the teacher ensured that students gained a clear picture of how the future tense worked, this worksheet was used to practice the use of will.
Exercise 1: Kompletoje ushtrimin duke perdorur kohen e ardhshme te thjesht.
Complte the exercise by using the future simple tense.
Example : You ( get ) an email from me soon ---- You will get an email from me soon.
As soon as I arrive, I (give)______________ you a call.
Hold on! I ( help)______________ you with those heavy bags
I ( be) _____________ twenty five next month.
We ( learn) _________ with computers.
In 2050, every person in the world ( have) __________ a mobile phone.
The next grammar lesson proceeded by introducing the Future Simple tense with will- Negative and Interrogative form. This lecture also began by explaining that the negative form is" will not "and its short form "won't", and that is used to express something one is not willing to do or refuse to do. The teacher gave examples of things she refused to do in the foreign language then wrote those examples on the board along with their translation.
Example: I won't send you a postcard Translation: Un nuk do te dergoj ty kartoline.
Example 2: I won't lend u some money Translation: Un nuk do te huazoj ty para .
Afterward the teacher continued to explain that the interrogative form is used to ask questions about things that may happen in the future. Questions were modeled on the blackboard along with their translation.
T: Will you help me with my homework? T: A do te me ndihmosh me detyrat e shtepis?
S: Yes I will/ No I won't S: Po un do te ndihmoj/ Jo un nuk do te ndihmoj
Students asked each other questions with will that were either assistance for help or about plans in the future and in addition practiced giving short answer. Later students were required to translate these examples in their L1.
As a writing activity students choose a year sometime in the future. Each student chose a different year, ranging from the near future to the distant future. They wrote few predictions about that year whether positive or negative. Later they read the sentences and invited other students to translate them.
An important part of grammar was also the future with going to and will. One of its objectives was to enable students to make distinctions between going to and will. In the students own language the teacher asked them if they knew any other way of referring to the future apart from will, to elicit going to. Subsequently the teacher explained in L1 that going to is used for plans and intentions decided before the moment of speaking whereas will for instant decisions. The teacher wrote an example sentence with going to along with its translation. Then students were asked to study the notes in the box " Using future forms! and complete the sentences by allowing them plenty of time. The teacher went through the answers by getting students to explain in their own language the reasons behind their choices.
Teaching vocabulary by using grammar Translation Method faced a lot of objections because it neglected the spoken language. Thomas Prendergast objected vocabulary learning by archaic vocabulary list.( )
Students looked at a photo describing Sara and heard the description she had given about herself. Students wrote in a list words that described physical characteristics from the reading passage and gave the equivalents in their mother tongue for each one of them. Students worked individually. The teacher helped them when they were uncertain about a word.
The teacher dawned attention to two examples and the key words polite and rude by explaining that they are opposites. Students were asked to match the remaining words with their opposites. To evaluate comprehension the teacher asked students in L1 which word has positive characteristics and which negative. Later the teacher continued to explain cognates. She explained that cognates are words who look like Albanian words. For example the word night in English with the word nate in Albanian. Students were asked to find examples of cognates at the reading passage.
Regarding adjectives in the following class students were required to write a short description. Before starting the teacher asked them in L1 if they would like to live alone on a desert island. The students responded in L1. The teacher proceeded by asking students to imagine they have been shipwrecked on the island with another person who might be any age nationality or sex. Students had to write a description of the person, based on the writing guide on the book. The teacher walked round the class giving help where needed.
Another useful way of practicing writing was dictation. At the end of each chapter students practiced the consolidation of new language. Before starting dictation the teacher wrote on the board the names and words students may have difficulties with. The teacher also reminded the students of the English words for punctuation marks and told them to pay careful attention to spelling and punctuation.
The teacher read the passage three times. The first time without pausing in order to give students an overall sense of it. The second time the teacher read it at a normal speech speed, but this time pausing after every group of words, in order to give students time to write them down. This time the teacher used also punctuation marks in the passage. The third time the teacher read it again so that students could check what they had written.
While correcting students writing the teacher underlined the mistakes and asked the students to correct them. The teacher also gave an indication of the type of mistakes they had made for example Sp for spelling, Gr for grammar, V for vocabulary and WO for word order.
Speaking as a skill was practiced by encouraging students to use the new vocabulary and grammar rules in creating accurate sentences. The activity of speaking was rarely practiced in the language classroom. The teacher used different tasks to encourage speaking. One of them was Miming. The teacher demonstrates the activity by miming an action and asking the class what he was doing. The teacher continued doing the activity until the students guessed correctly. Later the students continued the activity for the class to guess. Another speaking task was giving students a short poem or a free verse to learn by heart. Each student was asked to perform it in front of the class in order to practice pronunciation of words.
Listening as well as speaking was also seldom used in the classroom. The teacher used audio aids in order to practice listening. Students practiced listening simultaneously with speaking in the foreign language. The teacher played the tape for students to listen the narrative stories, dialogues or conversations several times. In meantime students followed in their books. Then without looking at the book students repeated short paragraphs or chunks.
Another listening activity was filling in the blanks. The teacher played the tape and asked the students to answer the questions about what the speaker say in their conversation. Students listened carefully and filled the blanks by choosing the best answer in the passage. Later than students reviewed their answers in pairs.
-The problems faced by the teacher using the Grammar Translation method based on the writer's point of view
Despite numerous exercises students still face problems concerning grammatical rules of the foreign language especially in translation exercises. For example, students do not know how to make grammatically correct sentences when translating from the native language to the foreign language. Except the problems in grammar, students feel uncertain regarding vocabulary. This is more apparent in speaking and listening activities where students cannot express themselves unreservedly and are indecisive in completing listening tasks. When answering comprehension questions students cannot respond properly because of their lack of vocabulary.
The solutions used by the teacher
The teachers reviewed the lesson again, discussed the content of the text with the students and revised the meaning of difficult words. The teacher also used paraphrasing, where students rephrased the short paragraphs. At the end of each unit the teacher ensured if everything was clear and went over everything that was learned during that class. Regarding vocabulary the teacher tried to overcome this problem by encouraging pupils to guess the meaning from the context, also by giving them direct examples of words used in a sentence.
5.3 The experimental group
The experimental group was also a classroom of mixed language learners who had the same native language. Students enrolled in this group were taught English as a foreign language for a period of two months by using Direct Method. From the beginning the students were informed that all the teaching in the classroom would be conducted in the English language without any reference to L1.
In the Experimental group as in the control Group the lesson started by presenting a short story in English. Before starting the lesson the teacher asked the students to look at the pictures and captions under pictures, and asked them to think what might happen in the story or what message the text may contain. The teacher reviewed the new vocabulary before reading took place. Different techniques were employed by the teacher to explain the meaning of new vocabulary for example movement to explain action verbs, facial expression to explain abstract words, and flashcards to explain the meaning of concrete words.
Reading was practiced by asking students to read the text out loud. The teacher presented the new teaching points orally. Students read the story in role plays where each student had its own personage. After finishing reading the questions were discussed in English. Students were speaking around 75 % of the time in the classroom. The teacher asked students questions which required a detailed answer like what happened in the story including the plot, the important characters and special events. Later the teacher asked the students if the predictions matched what they had just read. After students finished reading the teacher formalized them to a group discussion about the content and the vocabulary.
By this activity students had so much to learn through sharing and receiving different impressions that the topic itself raised. After the discussion finished the teacher gave them a list of topic sentences and they had to choose which one corresponded with the article they read. Later then students were given a list of difficult vocabulary and they had to match with the right definition on the right side. In this way students practiced their reading skills and also developed their speaking competence. However as is stated in the book " One of the fundamental conditions of a successful extensive reading program is that students should be reading material which they understand"(p. 210 ) which implicates that the teacher needs to be very careful in choosing texts which better reflect students needs and interests.
When explaining the new vocabulary the first thing the teacher did not do was give students the translation. Instead the teacher relayed in real objects, gestures, flashcard and pantomime to better illustrate the meaning of unknown words. The teacher introduced verbally the new vocabulary and made students pronounce them. When necessary the teacher corrected their mistakes by pointing to the different shapes of the mouth and lips and the position of the tongue to help students in their pronunciation. Students repeated the new item being taught 5 to 15 times. But there were words that students had difficulty pronouncing and this is why the teacher kept a list of difficult words. The list was called the "Special Attention List". The teacher practiced these words during the Global review classes.
Nevertheless the teacher provided students with different examples of that word used in sentences with completely different meaning. In order to make new vocabulary more memorable the teacher also provided them with different games and word puzzles, so as to catch their interest. When the teacher wanted to explain something she tried using other words like synonyms for more difficult concepts so that the students would understand and thus trying to take away the use of the L1. While asking questions the teacher avoided using yes no questions but rather tried to make more complex questions that required from students to give more details of what they had learned that day and how that would be helpful for their own learning. A special attention was paid to the teaching of phrases and sentences in the target language. The teacher said a sentence and had students repeat it several times. As a result of employing different examples of new words used in sentences by using country names and words that students already knew made the lesson easy and understandable.
The teacher introduced to the students the new lesson with the limits of the language that students could understand and also told them that the objective of the lesson was to ask and answer questions about future using will and to discuss future events. The teacher used the inductive approach which means that the teacher gave students the exercise and they by themselves discovered the rules of the verb pattern. The teacher gave students a short passage about what a boy called Rob will do when he finishes school. As students finished reading they were asked to underline the part in the sentence where will was used. Students completed the exercise in pairs and then wrote the examples on the board. Afterward the teacher asked the students if they could figure out the basic sentence structure with will. Students shared their opinions. After that a student wrote the basic form on the board.
Subject +will + verb ( action)
The teacher continued by asking students questions about the story and also about what students will do when they finish school. The teacher used a calendar to better illustrate that the events will take place in the future. Later each student was asked to create five sentences about the future by using will. As students finished they presented their responses to their groups and discussed them. Figure 4 shows some sentences written by several students.
1: I will go in holidays
4: I will go to school tomorrow
2: I will visit my grandparents
5: I will have a barbecue
3: I will read a book
6: I will buy a new computer
The next class the teacher introduced the topic and stated that the objective of the lesson was to ask and answer negative questions using the negative and interrogative form of will. Before proceeding to the new lesson the teacher reviewed the last lesson by asking questions that required responses with will. Subsequently the teacher gave students a worksheet which contained several sentences that had "will not" and questions with "will" to better illustrate the use of the grammatical structure. The students' assignment was to try to discover and come up with some generalization of the rule covering the theme which was just presented to them. Students prepared their explanations. Students were intensely occupied and felt less passive thus feeling motivated during the lesson. As Blaise Pascal states " People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they themselves have discovered than by those which have come into the minds of others" . ( )
The teacher corrected students' rules when was necessary and then presented to them the language structure and practiced its pronunciations.
Negative form: Subject+ will not + verb
Interrogative form: Will + subject+ verb
Consequently students were divided in pairs and were requested to make and answer different questions which required negative responses. Students asked each other different questions considering the future plans or assistance for help and gave different answers by using both affirmative and negative form.
Another important part of grammar was also the future with going to and will, which proved very difficult for students. The teacher started the lesson by asking students some mixed questions using both going to and will. For example :
What are you going to do after school today?
What will you do if you do not pass the test?
Where are you going to travel on your summer holidays?
What TV program are you going to see tonight?
The teacher asked the students if they could remember which forms were used to ask the question. Students gave their explanations. Later the teacher gave students a dialogue between Sally and Edward and asked them to underline the grammatical forms which referred to the future. The students highlighted sections of the dialogues which included will and going to. The students worked in groups and discussed the reason beyond their choices. As they finished the teacher had them write out answers to the questions at the bottom of the page and checked up individual students if they were using the correct form. Various students were asked to read their answers. The teacher purposely asked them some additional questions to give students a further chance to practice the future form.
At the end of the class after hard practicing the teacher presented students with the rule by explaining that will is used for instant decisions and going to for plans and intentions before the moment of speaking. The teacher had students use the small talk questions in the course book to practice the future with will and going to in small pairs. As homework students were asked to write a short paragraph about their future plans like studies, work, relationship where they will use going to and to make some predictions about their life in the future by using will.
While incorporating listening activities in the class the teacher took in consideration the students' level and their interests. As the learners' age was approximately 13_14 the teacher choose a listening activity appropriate for their level and easy comprehensible. Before playing the tape the teacher made students aware that they had to pay a special attention to a telephone conversation that they were going to hear between a boss and a worker. First the teacher asked them the polite way to ask for permission in the English language. After the discussion the tape was played for students to listen to the conversation. Students were divided in pairs to answer the questions concerning the play. The teacher played the tape once again before they started answering. The teacher asked the students why the worker was asking for permission, how he asked for that, what happened and what the boss answered. In these way students except developing their listening skills they at the same time learned the polite way of asking for permission in the English language.
Speaking was the skill that students needed more in order to create meaningful and comprehensible communication. Therefore the teacher tried to create room and time for students to express whatever was on their mind by incorporating as much as possible speaking activities. The most frequent activity that was used was involving students in role play. The teacher gave students the necessary information to write a dialogue for a situation that has happened or might happen to them in real life situation like: book promotions, parties, looking for a job, searching for a book in the library etc. These funny activities encouraged students to interact with each other and use the language to carry out a specific task. Students were mainly worried to express meaningful sentences rather than focusing on accuracy. These improvisations prepared the students to use the language in situations that they might encounter in their everyday live.
Making students aware of the importance of speaking in the target language was the first goal that the teacher tried to achieve no matter the time and effort needed to spend. The teacher clearly expressed to students that what was expect from them was a lot of participation, peer collaboration, quantity of work, task completion and problem solving assignments. The teacher was the negotiator of the students discussion and struggled to be absent in students discussions in order to allow them to take responsibility for their own actions and be independent learners.
Writing as a skill was practiced by getting students personally involved and persuading their partaking in the exercises. The teacher told the students to imagine meeting some creatures from outer space and to describe the meeting. Before involving students in the writing task the teacher engaged them in a prewriting activity. At this stage students gathered information, brainstormed, organized their information and made an outline to help them be more creative in their writing. At the writing stage the students extended the information gathered in meaningful sentences until the writing took the shape of a short passage. At the end students edited their own work by deleting, adding and reorganizing words and sentences to make the writing more accurate and the representation of ideas more fluent. The teacher reminded the students to check the mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Finally the teacher asked students to read out their descriptions in groups and mounted on the wall the best stories for other students to read.
Another writing technique that was used to practice writing was asking students to write short summaries based on a given story. Students read the text about Gamma's favorite program and wrote a short summary based on the questions provided in the summary box. Lastly students checked their summary with their partners. The teacher went through the answers and clarified comprehension problems including vocabulary.
In the Experimental Group the teacher first focused on encouraging as much as possible participation by giving students chances to express their ideas and not correcting them when doing mistakes. The teacher tried to change their attitudes and trained them to take responsibility of their own learning. Avoiding as much as possible the role of authority in the class by trying not to have the dominant role , the teacher attempted to make students less depended and showed them that she believe in their competence to learn new things by themselves.
The problems faced by the teacher using the Direct Method based on the writer's point of view
Regardless plentiful exercises of speaking and listening in the foreign language, students still fear to express themselves freely. Students still face problems in fluency and accuracy especially in the pronunciation of words. As the teacher is constantly using the foreign language sometimes students do not understand what the teacher is talking about. Especially in cases when the teacher asks the students questions regarding the reading passage, several students remain inactive and quiet, because they do not feel ready and able to respond to the questions.
The solutions used by the teacher in the Experimental Group
In order to overcome the problem the teacher tried to create a relaxing atmosphere in the classroom, by encouraging students to use English freely and appropriately. The teacher didn't oblige them to use English until they felt prepared to talk about the dialogues or any other task. Often during the lesson students did not understand the material that was presented to them by the teacher. That is why the teacher tried to explain the material clearly and in more details and to persuade students to be active by answering the questions and partaking in discussions. The teacher created conversations about the passages using English the majority of the time by creating like this an English environment.
The free group is also a classroom of mixed language learners. The total number of students enrolled in the free group is 36. All students have the same native language and are learning |English as a foreign language for e period of three months. Both the Direct Method and the Grammar Translation Method are used in tandem as teaching methods throughout the course.
The teacher starts a discussion in L1 based on the topic that students are going to be dealing with in class. A great effort is put to elicit the key words in English from the students. Students were asked to read the text in silence. In the students L1 the teacher writes the unknown words which appear to be on the text. Working in pairs students try to find the equivalent words in L2 using their dictionaries. Students compare the results with the class. Students are asked to memorize the list of words. The teacher writes the comprehensive question on the board and asks students to write down the answers. Later students are divided in groups and each group is given a section to translate. When finished each member of the group exchanged with members of the other group. When the original groups were back again, each group came with the final version.
In the next class the teacher began the lesson by setting the scene, through asking the students to comment on the photos so that learners could foresee what they were going to learn that class. Students first listened with their text covered. Later they heard everyday phrases (New language) and repeated them. They focused on the sound of the language without being distracted and later were presented with their written equivalent. The teacher asked the students plenty of comprehension questions in L2 and got students to repeat the key sentences. The new vocabulary which cropped up was explained by using flashcards, pictures, mime or contextualized examples. When making mistakes the teacher gave students opportunity to correct their own or each other's mistakes whenever possible. Also the teacher noted down any important and recurring errors and went over them with the whole class at the end of the lesson.
Grammar was taught by using both the deductive and inductive approach. The grammar part covered in the unit was the future with "will" and " going to" . The teacher used the deductive approach to teach "will" and the inductive approach to teach "going to" .
The teacher employed the deductive teaching to explain the use of "will" in all three forms. Initially students were given the rule, its definition and clear instructions of how it is used. Later students were presented with examples to demonstrate and better illustrate the usage of the future form in sentences. The teacher gave students a few moments to discuss and apply the new knowledge in their own examples. The teacher discussed the examples with the students and gave them feedback. Students wrote the completed sentences on the board, translated and compared them with their mother tongue equivalents.
When teaching " going to" by using the inductive approach the teacher provided students with a lot of examples and had students repeat them for many times. The teacher designed examples that included as many real life events. The students were required to apply the new grammatical content in sentences that can be used in real life circumstances. Students were asked to discover sentence patterns and grammar rules by themselves. Afterward they were asked to come up with a generalization about the rule. The aim of the teacher using the inductive approach was to make students able to use the grammar item correctly in sentences applied in right situations.
Reading as a skill was applied often in the class. In each unit there was a reading task, covering a range of text for example short passages, dialogues, advertisements and a magazine article. Before starting the lesson the teacher gave background information in the students L1.Students usually read the text once for gaining a general picture and then moved on to more detailed information. The students read the dialogue quickly on their own and then practiced the dialogue in pairs. Each story was accompanied by comprehension questions in the student's book. Students worked in pairs to find the answers to the questions. Alternatively, the students wrote them on the board along with their translation.
As a writing activity students had to choose their own famous person and describe their personality and appearance. Students were encouraged to use as many opposing adjectives to make contrasting statements. The teacher encouraged students to use as many points as they can. They at first wrote a rough draft then read it through and checked their work before writing the final version. Students were allowed to make use of their bilingual dictionaries to check for unknown words. Soon after, they took turns to read their descriptions while the others tried to guess their partner's famous person.
When correcting mistakes the teacher was sensitive and realistic about what can be expected at their level. The teacher made the corrections clear by indicating the type of error for example: vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Students were given opportunities to correct their own or each other's mistakes whenever possible. Also the teacher commented positively about content on every occasion for example: this is very interesting, well done, good work etc.
Another writing activity that was used with this group was translation. Students were required to translate short passages of magazine articles acceptable for their language competence. Students were required to translate from one language to another and vice versa. Later they compared their answers in pairs.
Writing- Example answer
My best friend is Blerta. She has got dark brown eyes but blond hair. She is tall but she has got short arms. She is slim but her face is a little bit plump. Blerta is friendly but sometimes she can be cruel. She is very hardworking but when it comes to cleaning her room she is a bit lazy. She is a beautiful and a smart girl. She likes to read adventure books. I like her because she is honest and I know that I can trust her.
From early in the course students were provided with plentiful and varied input of listening. Students had the possibility to listen the presentation texts and dialogues having the chance to read them at the same time. At the end of each unit students had a specific listening task which covered a variety of different tasks for example conversations, a radio quiz, an interview , songs etc. The language used at these tasks was slightly beyond the students' productive level. Sometimes the teacher used translation of a number of sentences even though the students were not expected to understand and reproduce everything they have heard. Rather the teacher tried to make them focused on key sentences. During these activities students listened more than once in order to get a better hint of the situation.
Songs as an integral part of the book were used as a musical form to practice listening comprehension. Except for listening songs were used for global comprehension and for teaching and practicing vocabulary and grammar. Once the specific work on the songs was finished, students enjoyed singing them.
Speaking as a skill was practiced in almost every class. Students were encouraged to repeat the key vocabulary and the key sentences of each presentation. The new language was practiced in meaningful contexts. Students created and practiced simple four line dialogues, made quiz questions, invented sentences about themselves, their families, friends and their wider environment. Speaking was also encouraged by giving students the chance to act role plays with the aim to reproduce situations from everyday life. Students worked in groups and acted slightly different conversations.
An alternative exercise to revise speaking was " The picture memory game". The teacher gave students few seconds to look at a picture, before the students closed their books and started to make sentences about it. When students began to run out of things to say, the teacher asked them to open their books and move on to the next picture.
The problems faced by the teacher using both Grammar Translation and Direct Method
The problems faced by the teacher in the Free group are mainly in Grammar. Students are still unsure of how to apply the grammatical rules in creating sentences and especially when translating them. Students also faced problems in vocabulary and had fear in expressing themselves freely in the foreign language which made them often use their native language in the class.
The solutions used by the teacher using both Grammar Translation and Direct Method
The teacher reviewed the classes which goals were not successfully achieved. The teacher tried to help students memorize new vocabulary by helping them to find the meaning of words from context , by using synonyms and paraphrasing activities. The teacher created a relaxing atmosphere in the class by assuring students that making problems is a normal part of language learning with the purpose of making them feel ready to talk about the texts and dialogues. The teacher revised grammar by explaining clearly and explicitly the areas where the students had problems and by using group work where students exchanged ideas about the task and had the opportunity to learn something from their peers.
5.3 Research work
5.3.1 Teacher preferences
5.4 Data collection
5.5 Data interpretation
5.6 Conclusion for the research findings