By Craig Turner,2014-10-15 03:14
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Project Title

     Motivating Students’ Interest in My Oral Lessons

    through Role Play Activity


    Liu Hui

    Shaanxi Normal University

    thSubmitted on June 29, 2010

    In fulfillment of the course

    Practical project Design


     This research presents a detailed report of the project implemented to foster students‟ motivation in oral English learning, through role work instruction. Based on the hypothesized that role work can help the students understand teaching materials quickly and easily and thus motivate the students to learn English happily. It is hypothesized that students‟ interests in role work is increased by better-designed role

    work exercises. This hypothesis is verified by teaching the newly designed role work exercises.

    Among the methods of scientific investigation used are analytic method, cause analysis, questionnaire survey and brainstorming activation, all of which shows that role work really contributes to students‟ motivation in language learning.

    However, the program seems to be powerless to a certain number students. Further research is needed for its measures to motivate the learners.

    Main Headings of the Project Report: 1. Introduction

    2. Problem analysis

    3. Project objective

    4. Project hypothesis

    5. Project rationale

    6. Possible solutions

    7. Research activity design

    8. Data analysis

    9. Conclusion

    10. References

    11. Appendixes

    Appendix A The timetable of the project Appendix B The questionnaires (Questionnaire One Questionnaire Two)

    Appendix C The methods of problem analysis Appendix D Teaching notes

    Appendix E Diaries

    Appendix E Tape for classroom teaching Appendix F Samples of students‟ questionnaires

1. Introduction

    As is commonly accepted, motivation is the key to success, and interest is the best teacher. What the teacher is to do in class is to provide occasions for learning to occur. I am now teaching Junior One students. I have found the problem that my students don‟t have enough motivation in class. They seem not to be interested in English. Based on some approaches that I have learned form “English Language Teaching Methodology”, and considering the current situation of my students, I decide to adopt role work in my lessons to motivate the students and help them keep up their English learning.

     2. Problem Analysis

     Teaching which appeals to learners‟ needs can facilitate learning. It is necessary to investigate why the students were showing less and less interested, and devoting less and less effort. A questionnaire for problem analysis (Questionnaire One) was issued. The following were found:

    2.1 Those poor learners report that, due to their lack of practice in class they had not enough time to do it in the spare time because they had too much homework. 2.2 Some students report that they were afraid of being laughed at by other students when they spoke or wrote English. As a result, they didn‟t dare to speak in class, and

    that, if others laugh at him or her, they will be thought to lose their self-respect. 2.3 Quite a number of students report that they are afraid of being criticized and thus they often withdrew themselves from classroom activities, for the reason that they were not good at English.

    2.4 The results show that some students were afraid of making mistakes in English class activities. In that case they won‟t take part in the group work positively.

    2.5 Some students aren‟t interested in practicing speaking.

    3. Project objective

    This project is aimed to motivate the students interest in oral lesson through the

    role play.

     4. Project hypothesis

     It is hypothesized that learners‟ interest in role work is increased by well-designed

    role work exercises.

     5. Project rationale

     According to Williams and Robert Burden, motivation refers to “ a state of

    longitude and emotional arousal which leads to a conscious decision to act, and which gives rise to a period of sustained intellectual and physical effort in order to attain a previously set goal.”

     Motivation is one of the most important factors in learning a foreign language . As

    Darwin said “Just as eating without liking does harm to one‟s health, learning without liking harms memory and retains nothing it takes in.” Former experiments show that among the factors contributing to success of learners, motivation accounts for about 35%. Psychological studies indicated that human beings mainly depend on eyes and ears to obtain information. Experiments indicate that the information received by ear will remain 60% in memory after 3 hours and only 40% after 3 days, while the information obtained both by ear and eye will remain 90% in memory after 3 hours and still 75%after 3 days. Another study indicated that the development of human‟s ideation is a process from thinking in imagines to abstraction. The teenagers in middle school have developed thinking more in images than in abstraction. Application of role play in English teaching will create language circumstances for students and mobilize their enthusiasm in thinking in images, for the abstract language materials to turn into concrete images. Motivation is the key to success, and interest is the best teacher. Hence the role play is suitable for the psychological development of teenagers. It is not only a better way to motivate the students, but also helpful to their memory.

    6. Possible Solutions

    Taking the above factors into consideration, the following solutions were proposed: a. Employing interesting role work to help the students understand and learn new knowledge.

     b. Organizing interesting activities to motivate the students to speak more English in the oral lesson. Make the students have to speak so that they would be interested in speaking English.

     c. Creating the comfortable safe classroom atmosphere and a good teacher student relationship.

     d. Encouraging the students to speak.

     7. Research Activity Design

     7.1 Subjects

     For this research, I chose the two classes of my students as subjects, one as the Experiment Group, the other as the Control Group. The experimental and Control Groups were randomly selected by role lots throughout the project , the Experimental Group will receive special designed role play instruction, while the Control Group goes on with its routine instruction.

     7.2 Procedure

     This project lasted two months.

     7.3 Principles to follow

     7.3.1 Accord the students‟ interest and practicability with the contents of the teaching materials and the age of the students.

     7.3.2 Adapt role play to student‟s range of knowledge.

     7.3.3 Create a good teacher-student relationship, motivate and encourage them without forcing.

     7.3.5 Provide a „stress-free‟ and „learner-centered‟ environment.

     7.4 Techniques for Data Collection

     During this research two techniques were adopted, namely questionnaire and test.

    To gather information for the design of the research and to test whether the research is effective, two questionnaires will be issued, one at the beginning of the research and the other at the end. Two tests will be included to test the co-efficiency between motivation and school recording.

     7.3 Project implementation

     In my class I tried my best to arouse my students‟ interest to learn English. Firstly,

    I designed a role play activity controlled through dialogues from the material in Junior English for China. Secondly, I provided some related topics and asked them to prepare their own dialogues. And then, I let the students act out their own dialogues. Thirdly, the students first read a story and then made dialogues according to the story. Lastly they acted out their own dialogues in groups. To comment on their work, I divided the students into two groups. After that I asked the students to choose their own point of view and prepare related topics. Then I selected the winning group through discussion. Altogether, I spent four weeks on implementing my project. For each week I was scheduled to do these:

     Teaching notes: To see Appendix E.

     Dairy-keeping: To see Appendix D.

     I designed four role work activities to arouse my students‟ interest. I wanted to

    know if the hypothesis would be proved by the four- week of varied exercises with the target group. That is, if my students‟ interest were to be enhanced. I would have

    three sources of data that help me to find it out. All the details of my project implementation were carefully maintained. They were data collection submitted as part my project report pack.

     The previous interview I did with my students for the cause analysis of my initial problem. From the interview I know that I should use varied ways to arouse my students‟ interest and pay more attention to this kind of problems. From the post-trial

    interview, the students say that they can go with me more easily and they are quite satisfied with what I have done for them.

     Classroom observations I took in my diary. My students became more active than before. They are willing to attend the role work exercises and speak English. They feel learning English is very interesting.

     The comparison of the final oral tests between the control and the target group finds that the target group is much better than the control group. The comparison between the first model oral test and the second model oral examination sees that the first average score is 82% while the second average score is 95%.

     From the above analysis I drew a conclusion learners‟ interest would be able to be

    enhanced by well-designed role work exercises.

     Week 1

     Activity 1: Prompt dialogue in the form of a flow chart

     Purpose: Practice using the modal expressions of Could I…? and Could you…?

     Instruction: Students work in pairs. A guest goes into a restaurant for dinner. Then there will be a conversation between the guest and the waiter for what kind of things can be offered.


     Step 1: Presentation

     (1) Free talk with students according to the modal expressions

     (2) Ask the students to act out the dialogues learned last time.

     Step 2: Practice

     (1) Explain the situation, checking understanding in Chinese if necessary.

     (2) Give the students the flowchart and let them read. Check that the students can ask and answer the questions correctly.

     (3) Demonstrate with another example to the whole class, deal with any problems of understanding, and then get students to work in pairs.

     (4) Ask the students to act out their dialogues.

     Step 3: Production

     Ask the students to make dialogues themselves according to the modal expressions. For Students: You are going to work in pairs. One of you is a guest, and the other is a waiter. Make up dialogues in pairs according to the prompted information in the following flow chart.

     Activity2 Say the months and the date.

    Purpose: let the students learn make conversations to use the months and the date. Instruction: Students will be divided into 12 groups, each group make a month‟s

    calendar as teaching aid in class.


    Step1: Presentation

    The teacher: Look at the calendar. This day is very important to me. Why? It is my birthday. My birthday is on January 15th. When was I born?

    Students: You were born on January 15th.

    Teacher: who was born in January? Hands up, when were you born?

    Student A: I was born on January2nd/Febrary13th/March4th.

    Step2: Practice

    Show a photo of Deng Yaping and present the following dialogue.

    Model: A: Who‟s that?

     B: That‟s Deng Yaping.

     A: What‟s she?

     B: Shes a great Chinese Ping-Pong player.

     A: How old is she? When was she born?

     B: She was born on February 6th, 1973.

    Show some photos of other sports stars and get students to make dialogues. Step3: Production

    Ask the students to make dialogues themselves according to the modal expressions.

     For students: You are going to divided into 12 groups. Ask your partners when he or she was born or ask sports stars their birthday.

    Week2 Activity 3: Planting trees

     This activity is based on Junior English for China, Book 3B, Unit11 Lesson44. “Planting trees”

     Purpose: Practice using useful expressions and the grammarThe Passive Voice.

     Instructions: Students work in groups. They make new dialogues by themselves after class. Then they act out their dialogues in class.


     Step 1: Presentation

     1. Review the texts of Lesson 4143.

     2. Provide some relate topics and model dialogues for their reference.

     3. Ask the students to rehearse their dialogues.

     Step 2: Practice

     1. Ask the students to act out their dialogues in front of the class.

     2. Other students select the best actors and actresses according to the standards given by the teacher.

     Step 3: Production

     1. Set up two groups---the boys and the girls.

     2. Ask them to talk about how to plant trees.

     3. Encourage the students to act out their dialogues.

     For Students: The students have to work in groups. They can act as the teachers the boys and the girls. Each role has to say at least five sentences and each group has to write down their play or dialogue and hand it in.

    Activity4: Calling

    This activity is based as in Junior English for China, Book2 Unit 5 I‟m watching


    Purpose: Practice the grammar _The continue Present Tense

    Instructions: The students work in groups and discuss about The Simple Present Tense.


    Step1: Presentation

    1. Review The Simple Present Tense.

    2. Ask the students learn new words.

    3. Learn The continue Present Tense(be+v-ing)

    Step2: Practice

    1. First practice the following dialogues each other

    Model: He often watches TV on weekends.

     Mary is a nurse.

     The sun rises in the east.

     She is_____(do) her homework now.

    Listen, someone _________(sing) in the classroom.

    It‟s 12:00, he______(have)lunch at home.

    Step3: Production

    Ask the students to talk about the useful expressions of calling And learn about how to call others.

     For Students: You are going to work in pairs. Call each other. Week 3

    Activity 5: Shopping

    This activity is based as in Junior English for China, Book3, Unit 14. Shopping. Purpose: to practice the grammarThe Simple Present Tense.

    Instructions: The students work in pairs first. Then I get the students to act out the play in groups.


     Step 1: Presentation

     1. Do some revision work.

     2. Ask the students to retell the lesson.

     Step 2: Practice

     1. Tell the students to read the dialogue in different roles.

     2. Let them work in pairs trying to act out the dialogues.

     3. Ask the students to act out the dialogue in front of the class. One of them plays the role of the shop assistant. The others play the shoppers.

     Step 3 Production

     Ask the students to talk about the useful expressions of shopping. And learn about how to shop.

     For Students: You are going to work in pairs. One of you is a shop assistant and the others are shoppers.

    Activity6: Ask way

    Purpose: To ask the way and give directions.

    Instructions: First I will give the students an example. Then they work in groups. Procedure:

    Step1: Presentation

    1. Do some revision work.

    2. Ask the students to discuss together.

    Step 2: Practice

    1. First read the textbook, then practice the conversations about asking the way and give directions.

    2. Ask the students make their own new conversations, After a while, I will ask them to present new conversations in front of the class.

    Step3: Production

     Ask the students to talk about asking the way and learn to how to give the others directions.

    For students, they will work in groups, one of them plays a policeman and the others do a person who can‟t find the way.

    Week 4

    Activity7 The world population

    This activity is based on Junior English for China, Book 3B, Unit13. Purpose: To strengthen the students‟ consciousness of the relationship between the

    population and the development of our country and practice using the useful expressions.

     Instructions: At first I get the students to revise Unit 13. Then I ask them to have a simulated issue. The title is If We Need So Many People.


     Step 1: Presentation

     1. Revise the whole Unit1---Unit 3. Make sure that the students grasp the main meaning of the unit.

     2. Ask the students to talk about their own point of view freely.

     Step 2: Practice

     1.Divide the students into two groups, and ask them to choose their own point of view---We can have so many children, or we can‟t have so many children.

     2. Ask them to rehearse their issue.

     3. Challenge the students to perform in front of the class. A few students and the teacher decide which group wins through discussion.

     Step 3: Production

     Ask the students to make dialogues about how to make our world more beautiful. They can either state their own point of view or use the views in the texts.

     For Students: You will work in groups. Each group should state your idea clearly, and try to use your view to refute the others.

    Activeity8: Helping others

    Purpose: Master some useful expressions of helping others

    Instructions: First I will ask the students some questions and then tell them helping others is a good thing.


    Step1: Presentation

    Review the unit we have learned and then learn the new context.

    Step2: Practice

    1. Divide them into several groups and talk about helping others is really


    2. Ask the students to practice the conversations according to the model.

    3(Encourage the students to perform in front of the class.


    First I asked the students to write an article about how to help others on a special day. Then I checked their work carefully.

    For students, you will discuss about what you have ever helped others. In the future can you like to help others when someone is in trouble as usual?

     8. Data analysis

     When my four weeks‟ activities came to an end, I did my best to collect data of the activity results through a questionnaire (Questionnaire Two). The comparison between the control and target groups sees that the students in the target group do better than those in the control group.

     From the above analysis, my project object-to enhance learners‟ interest in role

    work is realistic. My hypothesisstudents‟ interest in role work is increased by

    better-designed role work exercises—is provable. I have found that my students‟

    interest in role work has indeed been increased since I used the newly designed role work exercises. My project was based on the four theoretical assumptions which are valid and sound. I used observations, questionnaires and interview to obtain the

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