Motivating grade 11 students to learn English through examination-Taking strategy training at Yen Thanh 2 upper secondary school

1. Rationale Nowadays, in the era of the globalization and international exchange, English has become a ‘lingua franca’ which according to Jeremy Harmer (2001:1), can be defined as a language widely adopted for communication between two speakers whose native languages are different from each other’s and where one or both speakers are using it as a ‘second’ language. It has been used almost all over the world in many different areas such as diplomacy, science, technology, business, culture, tourism, etc. There is no doubt that English is one of the most important means of communication and access to information. In this context, the teaching and learning of English is more and more necessary. In Vietnam, in recent years, English as a foreign language has gained considerable attention. It has become a compulsory subject in the syllabus of many schools, colleges and universities. It has been taught and learnt throughout the country, both urban areas and rural (or remote) ones. Even in the countryside, children now start learning English when they are in grade 3 or 4. However, the fact is that the teaching and learning of English has not been effective yet, especially that in rural areas. There are still many people who cannot use English well after finishing English courses. As a teacher of English at a rural upper secondary school, the researcher is concerned about her students’ English learning. She has been teaching 4 classes of grade 11. Although her students have learnt English since they were in grade 6 under the new syllabus and new methods based on the communicative approach, their English is still not very good. Of course, they can hardly use English to communicate. Also their marks in tests and examinations are rather low. Additionally, many of the students seem not to be interested in learning English. According to them, English is difficult and not very necessary for their future, because after school most of them will be farmers or workers only. In other words, they do not have much motivation for learning it. The practical goal for most of the students is just to pass tests and examinations to graduate from the upper secondary school. Moreover, the grade 11 students are the ones who are going to leave school in over one year, so it is rather difficult to change their goal and motivation. The question is what teachers should do to help their students learn English better in this environment, where the English language input is limited and non-conducive to learning the target language. The researcher has thought a lot about this fact, about the students’ goal and motivation. Wondering if examination-taking strategy training can help to motivate the students, she decided to conduct the study on “Motivating grade 11 students to learn English through examination-taking strategy training at Yen Thanh 2 upper secondary school” to find out the answer, and further, to help improve the teaching and learning of English at her school. 2. Research hypothesis This study was designed to test the following hypothesis: Examination-taking strategy training can help to motivate grade 11 students to learn English. 3. Aims of the study The purpose of the study is to investigate the possibility of using examination-taking strategy training to motivate grade 11 students to learn English at Yen Thanh 2 upper secondary school. It aims specifically at: - considering the student motivation and the reality of training and application of examination-taking strategies in the context of grade 11 students at Yen Thanh 2 upper secondary school. - investigating changes in student motivation after applying examination-taking strategy training in lessons. - examining student attitude towards the examination-taking strategy training - giving some recommendations for motivating students to learn English through examination-taking strategy training

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  • Từ ngày 01/05/2022

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