How I can improve my students' motivation so that they can become more responsible for their own learning?

An Action Research  Enquiry into Integrated Skills of English[1].

Draft by Zhao Xiaohong, Guyuan Teachers College.

July 2003

 

Zhao Xiaohong, graduated from Ningxia University as an English major, has been teaching English in Guyuan Teachers’ Collage, Ningxia, P. R. of China since 1989. She did her further study and attained the degree of Master of Arts in 2001 in Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou. Apart from Linguistics, she is very interested in Language and Culture, Methodology. But she is currently engaged in action research and keen to continue her professional development and see action research as an important means of doing so..

 

My context:

From primary schooling to university studies, I accepted mostly traditional Chinese education, I was therefore greatly influenced by the traditional teaching methodology applied by almost all my previous teachers, and my classroom teaching practice was quite teacher-centered. As a college teacher, I placed a significant emphasis on bringing knowledge to the students. Later with the development, especially the introduction of the foreign language teaching and learning theories from abroad into China, for example, the Communicative Teaching Approach and the Situational Language Teaching, I began to wonder if this teacher-centered pattern was sufficient enough to improve the students' learning. I came to realize that I might have been restraining the students' creativity and initiative, for my domination just gave students no chance for their independent, deep thinking. In addition, this neglected the fact that students are all individuals who can be quite different in their backgrounds, intelligence and interests. Traditional teaching methodology didn't obviously focus on this in its essence. This realization acted as a spur to my enquiry, so I resolved to find new ways of teaching that would really improve the students' learning.

 

And it was just at this time that Dr. Moira Laidlaw came to teach in this college, and I had the honour to learn what a practical and effective way Action Research is. I became interested in it and assumed that it would surely work in getting me out of ‘trouble’. I was convinced of its ‘systematic research process’ (J. Whitehead in McNiff, 2002):

 ŠWhat issue am I interested in researching?

 ŠWhy do I want to research this issue?

 ŠWhat kind of evidence can I gather to show that I'm interested in this issue? 

 ŠWhat can I do? What will I do?

 ŠWhat kind of evidence can I gather to show why I am interested in this issue?

 ŠHow can I explain that influence?

 ŠHow can I ensure that any judgment I might take are reasonably fair and accurate?

 ŠHow will I change my practice in the light of my evaluation?

 

This systematic plan indicated that this research was quite rigorous, and especially its essential characteristic of self-reflection. In action research, researchers do research on themselves...... . “Action research is an enquiry conducted by the self into the self” (Jean McNiff, Jack Whitehead 2002). I was confident, particularly, with the theories:

Action Research is learning how to do things in more personally and socially beneficial ways, and education refers to the experience of the interaction between people which leads to further learning (Jack Whitehead, Jean McNiff 2002).

 

This, in case of classroom education refers to the improvement of both teacher and students in their learning practice. This was entirely in line with the aim of our country's educational reform:

 

The aim of the Chinese current educational reform is defined as quality education which is characterized by 1) the stress on the cultivation of the students' creative spirit and practical ability 2) the stress on the development of students' initiative and individuality 3) the stress on students' life-long sustained development (Decision on deepening the educational reform by the State Department P. R. Of  China, 6. 1999).

 

I was therefore confident with my plan of enquiry in that it would not only improve my own situation but also help me do a bit for the cause of education, so I began my action research.

 

What was my concern?

I had believed I was doing a great job, I had worked very hard to prepare every lesson and had passed on knowledge to the students as much as I could, but what I had to admit was most students' silence, lack of confidence and low level in their major. I just couldn’t see their obvious increase of knowledge, the improvement of their learning quality. What was my principle purpose of education? So far, I felt the discomfort of realizing that I was not acting in accordance with my value and belief and experienced that some of my educational values were denied in my practice, that was I was not living out educational values in my practice. I myself was a living contradiction (J. Whitehead, 1993). This experience concerned me a lot and impelled me to take action.

 

After several visits of Moira's class, I began to feel and realized the difference: quite contrary to my ways, Moira didn't control the students too much, but the students voluntarily took their chances to participate, What's more, she gave the students freedom to think. There wasn't much instilling of such things as knowledge and thinking from her into the students. I could see Moira's way had given free rein to students' intuition, imagination and wisdom. Inspired by Moira's teaching methodology, I identified students' active attitude toward learning my research focus, and put for the moment my research question into "How do I activate the students so that they can improve their own learning?''

 

Why was I concerned?

The students' silence and non-participation often made it difficult for me to arrange the class and easily rendered it even more teacher-- centered. The dullness always pervaded the classroom, and students' participation became less and less. So a teacher--centered pattern determined to a certain extent that the students could just listen and follow passively, but didn't mean that they were learning and making themselves improve actively. For one obvious finding was that they didn't actually know what they were supposed to know. This could be found in the mistakes in their written work, in their nervousness in speaking, in their lack of confidence in answering questions and talking and in their performance in examinations. How could they go further in their learning? How could they be competent at their future teaching jobs? In addition, so far as the language learning was concerned, students' participation in the classroom activities or rather learning process seemed even more important, for what is universally true is that language learning won't work without practice. This practice, here, connotes an active attitude and participation. So, by 'activate', I meant to increase their active attitude toward learning.

 

What's more, I was afraid that if I couldn't remedy this situation, my students (who were all English majors specializing in English education) would 'again' take it into their own future teaching practice in mostly primary schools after their graduation. Being a teacher, I felt responsible for both their present and future development.

 

Why were my students always quiet? My concern stimulated me to ask this further question.

On analysis, causes for this fall into the following 3 reasons:

  ŠOver the years, we have been persisted in the traditional teaching model which hinders the development of students' independent learning ability. Under this model students gradually cultivate the habit of passively absorbing knowledge.

  ŠStudents lack the confidence due to their poor general and professional knowledge. Most of these students come from nearby mountain areas, which are still underdeveloped especially in economic and educational fields.

  ŠStudents lack foresight, they don't see clearly the purpose for which they learn, and are consequently deficient in clear and strong learning motivation.

 

What could I do?

I decided that I needed to find ways to change this situation so that I can really improve the students' learning. But what supportive model could I take? I read through the notes I took down in Moira's class and believed that Moira's methods of being student---centered could be an example, I could try to put my class into this model. To start with, I made my action plan, which included the detailed but imaginary actions and the standards of judgment including the following:

 

Šstudents' physical attendance in class

Štheir work of review

Šthe completion of homework

Štheir participation in discussion

Štheir taking more notes

Štheir discussion

Štheir attitude towards homework

Štheir performance in the examination

 

 To monitor this enquiry, I would ask Moira Laidlaw to check my perceptions, my actions, my gathering of the data, and my generating of evidence. I would present what I do to our validation group (Action Research group here). I made my action plan public in the meeting when Action Research was first introduced to all the deans, some teachers and students (including my students) in Guyuan Teachers’ Collage.

 

What did I do?

After defining these dominant ideas guiding ideology, I started to work on the specific actions. For this I collected the relevant information about the students from their files, from the other colleagues and their political assistant, I went closely through the textbook and the teaching syllabus of the Integrated Skills of English. I also had the discussion with my colleagues. And finally I worked out some specific and different actions to take into my class. For instance:

 

1)        I no longer asked the students to do the speaking activities exactly according to the requirement of the text, but instead, let them make a short speech about the certain topic in whatever way they wanted;

2)        I didn't explain all the language points in Read More (which was a reading comprehension part), but asked them to give the main idea of it and tell others why they thought this statement was true or false;

3)        In dealing with the exercises, I asked them to discuss it groups first, with a group leader, and then one of them told us what they had done, and I corrected errors, if any, and explained why, if necessary;

4)        In dealing with the Reading Comprehension (which is the central part of the unit), I designed various questions and asked them to answer;

5)        For vocabulary building, I no longer explained words one by one, but instead, let them become a temporary teacher. All these actions were aimed at making the students active. In doing so, I believed they would break their habit of depending on me and would become active mentally.

 

On the other hand, I began to have concern for every student in terms of their psychological needs, especially, for those who were comparatively poor in English, those who were lazy, and those who gave up easily. What I felt at the beginning stage was that I was giving every chance, encouragement and trust to them. For instance, when Tian Peng couldn't translate the sentence I really couldn't see that there is any point in overestimating the difficulties in our work, they will be solved in one way or another, I asked Ma Yan guo to help him by saying "Ma, Could you please help your partner?" He tried, but not completely successfully. So I encouraged him by saying "Try again", and gave him a little hint, then he did it. I could see Ma's delighted expression at that moment. When I waited for the students to answer the questions, Xie (a comparatively diligent girl) put up her hand as the first one, which was the first time she had acted voluntarily. But just then several others stood up, so I gave the chance to a girl who was poor in speaking. However, I later created some other chances during the left time for all those volunteers. For those who made any progress in their written work, even in their handwriting, I wrote comments like these:

 

  That's great! Please keep up the work. Success comes by hard work and constant efforts.

You are great, I'm proud of you.

This is the best I have seen today.

I'll be glad to see that you will do your homework better next time.

 

I think either their success in doing their work or their feeling of not being neglected would lead to the increase of their confidence, and confidence, in turn, motivated and encouraged their next voluntary effort. Of course, what I did most with the marking was to offer them some constructive criticism as follows:

 

   You are developing increasing depth of thought and clarity of expression in your written work. But there are some grammar mistakes in it.

You have given a lot of facts on the whole. That’s good. But if they had been put in a more logical order!

Be careful with your handwriting!

 

For those who are very bright and careless, I didn’t correct their mistakes at all, but underlined the wrong points---expecting their own corrections. 

To my great surprise and comfort, these new ways did change the class atmosphere and the whole situation a lot. Not only I but also the students felt that I was trying a new kind of method. I could often see that they were trying to co-operate with me. For example, quite a few students almost took down "everything" from the dictionary so that they could be excellent "temporary teacher". The notes on their notes books and text books testified to this. The comments and the methods of marking were proved helpful as they pointed how the students might improve their work in the future and showed that I expected better. For example, when I happened to read through their exercises book during the break time, I found Sheng Ping, Zhang Xuemei and Ma XiaoMei had corrected all the grammatical mistakes I had underlined, Ma XiaoMei even wrote some 'evil' words to warn herself of the stupidity in committing that kind of mistakes. Every student appeared attentive trying to be critical of any mistakes the ‘temporary’ teacher made, they were not at all mechanical. I was moved, and it was at this moment that I felt a sense of guilt, for they showed to me a strong desire and delight at this 'newness'. These signs really encouraged me, and made me think students were all subconsciously active, and the potential in their studies had not only been developed. I became even more determined with this enquiry. I began to be more concentrated on the research process: I took down the detailed data as much as I can, asked myself questions frequently, discussed them with Moira and extended interchange with my colleagues. In doing so I was just hoping that my enquiry could be better supervised and go its way properly, and that my commitment to the research would have some influence upon my colleagues so that we could live in an action research environment.

 

There were times when I really felt that the actions didn't work. For instance, to avoid being teacher---centered, I designed various questions on the main text, and asked the students to answer. Since most of them had done the pre--class work, so they could answer my questions. I was satisfied with their work at the time, but when some minutes were left for them to review the text, various questions arose. For example, Li Xia and Meng Zhengpeng raised some really challenging questions on the theme of the story The Dream of an Hour while some students couldn't even understand the basic things such as words’ meanings and sentence structure. So my asking--answering way just checked how much they knew about it, but did not have much to do with what they wanted to know. Their situations and individual difference had been neglected. It was still I who dominated the class, students didn't use their creativity and imagination and initiative as their minds have been limited by my questions. I didn't give priority to students' learning needs and thus may have hindered their possible development. I would have to alter this method.

 

How could I improve this way and make it more educational? I considered, and thought of students' asking --teacher answering pattern. But after trying twice, I found that students were still very slow in asking questions. I could also see the reason for this: they were simply unable to form a question They did have various points they could not understand, but their questions were always in one pattern: I don't understand this or that or just this sentence please. This made it even more difficult for me to answer since I couldn't see what they really wanted to know, and I would have to take the time to adjust their questions. (I felt this as another 'evil' consequence of a teacher-centered teaching pattern.)

 

I had to be aware at this stage that to find the solution I should clearly focus on my concern-----how I can activate my students...... . Anything I would do needed to be done on purpose-----to make students active. Keeping this in mind, I began to try the way that teacher designed the questions, students discussed then, or students discussed first and formed their questions either in pairs or in groups. For without my 'enforce' they might feel relaxed and free. (I arranged their seat order in the way that brings the convenience to this kind of job). This turned out to be the way that worked. Moira Laidlaw's notes on visiting this kind of target class will be discussed in the following part.

 

The actions applied in some other contents were all proved quite effective. This delighted me a lot, for I found they did make the students active. For instance, in my target lessons of building vocabulary, the "temporary teachers" were all volunteers, including the top students and the poor ones. It was quite impressive that students were not so mechanical and abstracted as they had been before. They seemed attentive and confident and tried to correct any kind of mistakes the ‘teacher’ made. Obviously they had prepared for it. I discovered also that almost all of them were ready to be the teacher. I could see the preparation on their text books, some even in great detail. For example, Zhang Xue mei (a normally poor student) wrote several pages for that. I also remembered that after the first target lesson of this kind, I encouraged them to keep on going and suggested that they should be braver and also well-prepared for doing so. When I asked them if they liked me to assign the work to a certain person in advance or if they all liked to be ready, they all said they preferred the latter. Again, I saw their high motivation.

 

What evidence could I provide to show my actions were influencing my situation?

 I collected a great deal of data during my project, not only the raw data relating to activities, but also reflective comments from a variety of sources. My data-collecting methods included the following:

 

  ŠJournal notes: After every target lesson, I noted down individual and group-responses to my focus of interest.

  Š Home work: Students' homework revealed some answers to my question.

  Š Conversation: Between students and myself.

  Š Questionnaires: I designed one questionnaire, after Moira Laidlaw's check, I used it.

  Š Other colleagues' visits to my classroom. I had invited some other colleagues to watch my target lesson to see how I motivated my students with my new methods, or rather if my new methods increased students' motivation.

 

 The evidence I can provide is the following .

1.Oct 9th: About 2 weeks later after I took the actions, I found that they showed an active attitude towards their homework: Ma Yanguo made fewer grammatical mistakes in his written work. Sheng ping, Ma Xiaomei. And several others corrected all the mistakes I had pointed out.

 

Still about their homework: they broke my rule that 10 of them (by turns) hand in their written work for me to mark each time, which we had been observed since last semester. I had to work longer on their homework, but I’m happy to do that, really.

2.Oct 30th: Note from my observation: what I can see (up to now) is that most students are not so nervous and shy as they were before. They appear braver, not that tentative, even when they say 'no'. It could be seen that they can acknowledge themselves and be frank and honest with themselves. My actions aiming at making them to learn have been well accepted. For example, 9 out of them take the chance voluntarily to make short speeches on the topic women and society in about 15 minutes, this include Ma Jin, Zhang Jie, Feng Xiaojuan (top ones) and Wang Yingjuan, Zhang Hong and Ma Yanguo (poor ones). And what their speeches impress me is they are all speaking from their experiences. So my “not neglecting them” began to help them push themselves forward and some of them turned up to be very bright.

 

3.Nov. 1st: Detailed situation: I asked a question:' what point does the writer want to make by the couple who bought sugar in bulk? A second silence, then I changed the question into: 'what do you think of the couple?' And Ma in no seconds, being the very first one, answered 'silly' in a very loud voice, which I was sure the whole class must have heard.

 

4. Nov. 8th: with 2 young teachers sitting at the back watching my lessons, Ma stood up the first one, several others in hard upon him and came to the blackboard after I told the class my intention. I could see their eagerness for self-presentation, this reflected his confidence, self--respect and basically self-responsibility. This initiative of their also at that moment showed that they are quite ready------ they have prepared the work before class----again, I'm sure that they have been motivated. The teachers made comments on their presentation thus: They are very active and can co-operate with you. If only our students (non English majors) could do that!

 

5. Nov. 5: An observation of Ma's move to the front row. Ma moved to sit at the front row with the girl (Zhang Jie) two weeks ago. I had noticed that, but I just didn't think much about it, because I thought he might have done that inadvertently. So his still sitting there made me have the following ideas:

 

ŠHis pre-desk mate was not a diligent student, and his English was quite poor (poorer than Ma's). So Ma hoped to be better with the help from Zhang Jie (a clever and diligent girl).

ŠThe first row was generally the teacher's focus ( which I believe is quite acceptable to the Chinese). His move 'under the teacher's watch' indicated that he didn't want to be lazy any more. He wished to be noticed, to be helped.

To justify what I thought, I had a conversation with Ma one day:

Teacher: Aren't you on good terms with Tian peng (his pre-desk mate)?

Ma    : Yes, we are on good terms (he appears very surprised at my question).

Teacher: Oh. I'm sorry. I thought that just because of your movement from him. (I tried to be as casual as I could)

Ma   : Oh. That's because both of us are poor in English and we can't help each other possibly (these words escaped his lips).

I believe I was right in one sense: he began to be responsible for himself.

6.The questionnaire the student did at the end of the term showed that they had all been aware of my new methodology. Through their answers I can see their approval of my new methods.

Detailed answers to the two key questions:

(I’ll have to use symbols such as A, B, C, D…… to identify the participants as they did the questionnaire anonymously).

 

Question 4: What can you see as my purpose in trying these methods?

Student A: You are trying to make us learn in an actively way so that develop our self-study ability.

Student B: You are trying to encourage us to learn more information ourselves.

Student C: You are trying your best to make us fit and understand your teaching, and let us learn more from your class.

Student D: You are just guide. This is good for us to develop our comprehensive ability.

Student E: You aim to nurture our initiative, encourage us to say more and practice more.

Student F:  Improve the teaching effect.

Student G:  I think this is good. This schooled our self-study ability.

Student H: You are trying to challenge your previous teaching methods-----teacher-centered pattern.

Student I:  Improve our integrated ability.

Student J:  Make the class lively, provide the ss opportunity to practice our spoken English.

Student K: This method helps liven up the class and develop the students’ self-study ability.

Question 5: What have been the benefits for you personally of my new methods?

Student A: this virtually urged us to do a lot pre-class work and helped us learn how to study.

Student B: It makes me spend a lot of time on study and study deeply and widely in this subject. To be honest, I really didn’t want to prepare the lessons before the class, but this way made me prepare them without any excuse. At the same time, I like to learn more information about the western culture, economy, politics …… to enlarge my knowledge structure.

Student C: My oral English improved step by step.

Student D: I can’t be lazy any more. Through looking up the dictionary, I can enlarge my vocabulary. Through group discussion, I can understand them easily and deeply.

Student E: I’m satisfied with these methods.  From you I learn some good things as a good man.

Student F:  I made some progress.

Student G:  I learnt how to study a text.

Student H: I learnt more information from the book and became interested in learning.

Student I:  It’s beneficial, practical and good for our future.

Student J.  I became more active than before.

Student K: Because of this method, I became more active and less dependent upon teacher.

 

7.Moira Laidlaw visited my classroom to see how my action influenced the classroom situation. Her notes included these comments: 'This method seemed to be working, as the students are all very attentive'. 'Many of the students are practicing too, it's very impressive'. 'All ss very attentive. Mason's motivation is evident. How do I know?

a) His fulsome preparation, both linguistically and emotionally

b) His touches of humour.

c) His expansiveness as a teacher------choosing different ss, his confidence.

d) His smiling face.

e) His professionalism------accuracy of information. He has taken this task very seriously.

What about others?

a) Their apparent attentiveness.

b) Their various attempts to do their best.

d) Male student next to me is mouthing all the pronunciation and says "Oh, yes, when he understands something new."

 "Each ss seems ready to learn. This is excellent." He chooses a wide variety, not just content rating in one area. This is unusually good in a young teacher and suggested confidence, which suggested motivation, very high."

 

8. Comments from Moira Laidlaw's further visit to my classroom:" They were very attentive as well. As I look around the classroom, all heads are bent in concentration." "In the discussion, ss are talking seriously, studying the text and trying to understand it. There is a real learning environment here. How do I know? Well, all heads are bent in study. They are discussing in English and Chinese, which shows engagement. They are asking each other question. I can see only intense concentration and commitment. Their facial expressions are intent concentrated, interested. They care. This is motivation! Some specific evidence of motivation: Mason is asked a question by his desk mate (Sarah) and he explains. Class monitor (Tian--Ma's previous desk mate) then asks a particular phrase and Mason translates into Chinese. Class monitor and Xing Wei write on their books. This shows many things:

a) Mason's ability is being stretched by having to explain.

b) Tian Peng (class monitor) is being active on his own behalf.

c) Sarah( Xing We)i both consolidates and questions.

All of these students reveal a certain independence and autonomy in their learning. They are taking responsibility for their own learning. Sarah (Xing Wei) +Mason(Meng Zhengpeng) write on the bb. This shows confidence and assimilation of learning. I have witnessed independence, initiative, confidence, enquiry and enjoyment in these three students, but to a greater degree in Mason."

 

9. The following table shows what my focus of interest (class 1) did in an achievement test they took at the end of this April (about the time I ended this research circle).

 

 

90-100%

80-90%

70-80%

60-70%

Below 60%

Average  mark

Class1(27)

4

9

7

    5

2

76

Class2(26)

0

9

12

4

1

74

Class3(27)

1

4

13

5

4

72

Class4(26)

0

6

11

5

4

72

Class5(26)

1

8

5

9

3

71

 

I believe, from the above, that I'm justified in claiming that:

  Š Most students' motivation to learn and improve their work had increased.

  ŠMy actions have proved influential with most students.

  ŠI as their teacher had succeeded in rendering the classroom more student-centered.

 

Conclusion

So far, I can conclude that being student-centered has been proved an educational way to activate the students. By the detailed, specific methods I have used through the reflective thinking about the teaching and learning practice, most students have revealed greater confidence, independence, initiative, enquiry and enjoyment. These elements are just what Carl Rogers (1983) in 'Freedom to learn for the 80's' characterizes as motivation in learning.

 

So, I have achieved what I set out to do which was to improve the quality of learning experience for my students. Through critically reflecting on my own practice, I have acted in accordance with my values and beliefs and experiences that I’m living out educational values in my practice. I’m now clearer about my own potential, the positive power of believing in my own capacity to improve the quality of my teaching and thus my life.

 

In addition, this small piece of AR offers me an understanding of professional development. Actions make the teacher aware of her teaching practice and stimulate her to be perfect. The teacher's role as a researcher is embodied in the research process. Through this enquiry I have shown how the methodology influences and determines the learning development for both the teacher and the students, how I have generated my own theories out of my practice and how the theories themselves are actually part of my practice.   

 

As well as that, this research has raised some new questions for me, such as: under the condition that the students' motivation has been increased, how can I help them develop their ability to learn? how can I help the students differing in degree all to improve? how can I help them to be capable of raising questions? These will become the beginning of my new action enquiry.

 

Finally, the writing up of this dissertation has been significant in helping me understand my own educational development. The actions I have taken into my enquiry changed greatly my class in the way that I don't dominate the class, I don't always speak and ask them to do this or that, and the students, as a result of this, become the principal part of the class. Reflective thinking from the practice inspires me to go further and leads eventually to the outcome of the effective methods. Fundamentally speaking, this educational development leads to the improvement of both my teaching and students' learning. I believe I have developed my own living educational theory (Whitehead, 1989) in the teaching practice of Integrated Skills of English and I have moved beyond depending on the theories of others. The theories I can conclude through this enquiry can be stated as following:

 

 The student-centered teaching model has proved an educational method. It works in helping me live out educational values in my practice of the course of Integrated Skills of English. It is educational in that it encourages and stimulates the students' confidence, initiative, imagination and wisdom. But the implication of being student-centered, generated from this enquiry, covers the stress on both being learner--centered and learning--centered during the teaching and learning process in both respects of educational thinking and teaching methodology. Being learner-centered, here, does not only mean that the teaching content should be based on the students' living experience and understanding level, but also the teacher's full knowledge of students' non-intelligent factors. The teacher will have to know their individual differences, to respect them, encourage their every learning attempt, and value their dignity and initiative in learning. Being learning centered meant that the teaching should combine learning well with practice. For only if the content turned out to be relevant to the students' knowledge and experience, to their needs and interest, can their learning practice be worthwhile, and their learning motivation more intense, their interests stronger and their learning more effective and productive.

 

As I have influenced the quality of professional learning in my classroom through my actions, I hope I could also influence my colleagues or even a wider community in their understanding of how knowledge is produced by the individual and collective practices through this research so that greater improvements can be achieved in different fields. In this way, we are improving our professional development; we are making our contribution to the educational undertaking of our country.

 

As a piece of my first action research, I do feel some weak points in the steps of reflective thinking, collection of data and generation of evidence and cooperation with other researchers. To make these points stronger, I will, on one hand, continue to read through the theories on action research, and on the other hand keep on going with the next enquiry. For practice makes perfect.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed my story and that you may have learned something from my experience.

 

References:

Whitehead, J., (1993), The Growth Of Educational Knowledge: Creating Your Own Living Educational Theories, Hyde Publications, Dorset, U.K.

Whitehead, J., (1989), Creating a Living Educational Theory from Questions of the Kind, 'How do I Improve my Practice?', Cambridge Journal of Education, Vol.19, No.1.

McNiff, J., (2002), Action Research for Professional Development, www.jeanmcniff. com

McNiff, J., with Whitehead, J., (2002), Action Research: Principles and Practice, Routledge, London and New York

Jean McNiff, J., Lomax, P., Whitehead, J., (1996), You and Your Research Project, Hyde Publications, Dorset, U.K.

Edge, J., (2001), Action Research: Case Studies in TESOL practice Series, Jill Burton, Series Editor

Ghaye, T., & Wakefield, P., (1993), C.A.R.N. Critical Conversations: A Trilogy, Hyde Publications, Dorset, U.K.

Appendix:

Questionnaire  

1.         Do you find the difference in my teaching methodology before and after the mid-term examination?

 

2.         If you do, please describe it in your own words?

 

3.         What do you feel about my new methodology? (For instance (1) I no longer ask you to do the speaking activities exactly according to the requirement of the text, instead I let you make a short speech about the certain topic in whatever way you like. (2) I don’t explain all the points in Read More, but ask you to give the main idea of it and tell others why you think this statement is true or false. (3) In dealing with the exercises, I tell you to discuss in groups first, with a group leader, and then one of you tells us what you’ve done, and I correct error if any.)

 

 

4.         What can you see as my purpose in trying these methods?

 

5.         What have been the benefits for you personally of my new methods?



[1] Integrated Skills of English refers to a study of the language through writing, speaking, listening, and writing.