I have been teaching in middle schools.In my teaching I've found there are some problems.Now I'll finish my study in Shaanxi TV University.I hope I can solve the problems that have troubled me for some time through the action
which I research so that I Can apply my knowledge and theory into practice？
learned from Shaanxi TV University.
2.Summary of the Preliminary Research
This part of my study was conducted during Apr.28？2003一May I I？2003.
The problem I have in my teaching is that most of my students do not like doing the oral practice I assign them to do.
In my teaching？the problem identified Was really a serious problem.My preliminary research confirmed that there were three main reasons that accounted for students' reluctance to do the oral assignments out of class.
Firstly？some students did not feel interested in practicing oral English alone after class.They
thought they could not communicate without partners？Secondly？some
students had some difficulties in doing oral practice？so they hoped that they
could do it after class under more concrete direction of the teacher.Thirdly？
most students felt overloaded because of a heavier homework assignments.
The Problem had been troubling me for a long time and now it was determined to find a solution to the problem.In my study？I used three methods
Through careful analysis？1 was led to a series of questions！For instance？
I found a majority of my students do not like doing this assignment？and 1
wanted to know why it should be the case？and whether they thought it
important and necessary to practice oral English or not? If they thought it important andnecessary？the problem was actually caused by myself？not by
my students.Probably the oral work I assigned my students to do was poorly organized.
In this situation？I asked myself a series of questions and tried to provide some answers to them. Why did most of my students not do oral practice I assigned them to do after class? In order to know moreabout this issue？I
designed a cause exploration procedure like this.
?Is it because they do not like oral English?Maybe.
?Is it because the oral tasks are poorly designed? Maybe.
?Is it because they are not motivated? Possibly yes.
?Is it because my instructions are not clear? Yes.
?Is it because they do not like to practice oral tasks alone?Maybe.
?Is it because they have lots of other things to do?Yes.
?Is it because they do not think oral practices are important and
?Is it because they have some difficulties unsolved by themselves?Yes.
2.2.3 Socratic Dialogue！
1 want to use the method of Socratic Dialogue to analyze my problem like following！I can't get my students to do oral practice in English.It means that I can't get my students to talk in English.What do I mean by doing oral practice? What sort of oral practice do I expect them to do? Well？1 want them to discuss
and sometimes 1 want them to speak something about in pairs or in groups？
current affairs or something about their everyday lives or something about their text.The following is the use of the method of Socratic life Dialogue！
Mrs.Zhang！Yuan Li？what should they discuss?
Yuan Li！ I give them topics to talk about.
Mrs.Zhang！What sorts oftopics?
Yuan Li！ Usually the dialogues in their textbook.
Mrs.Zhang！What purpose do they have in dicussing these topics?
Yuan Li！To improve their speaking ability in English.
Mrs.Zhang！Isn't it like me going shopping?
Yuan Li！ Going shopping'?
Mrs.Zhang！ I often go shopping for hours,but come back without buying anything.You see it's just because I don't have a definite purpose.
Yuan Li！Oh？1 know.Here is the point.When I ask my students to do oral practice？the purpose？of cause？is to improve their English speaking ability.It is like the purpose of goingshopping.I should give them some clear purposes？
genuinely communicative goals？ analogous to such specific purposes in
shopping？such as buying a storybook or a dictionary？or a pair of sportshoos
Mrs.Zhang！You should see this earlier.If the students have no reasons to talk？then why will they bother'?
Yuan Li！That's true! How about the conversation going like this！
Student A(to B)！I have just seen the new film Harry Poher.
Student B(to A)！So have I.
What more can they'say ? The topic doesn't clearly interested them to give their opinions on it and there is no other reason for them to discuss it any more.So this dialogue can't go on any more
Through Socratic Dialogue？I realized that the oral practice I asked them to do are not really very well designed.
I made a pilot investigation in this respect to know more about the situation.For this purpose？I designed a research procedure like the
follows.One day？I gave them two oral tasks--Recite Lesson 86 and form groups voluntarily to make a group discussion.The tide was“Britain and Ireland”.The next day。I got the following feedback！
Only twelve students recited the lesson.
Only one group of four students made a group discussion.
The rest did not do the oral tasks.Then I asked them two questions.One was why some students had done the oral tasks.The students’response！
First？those who had made new dialogue said they enjoyed speaking English and they also liked to practise oral English with partners.
Second？those who had recited the lesson said they had recited it because the lesson was very long and there were many new patterns in this lesson.If they did not review them in time？they would forget some of them.The other
question was why most students hadn't done the oral tasks.The students’reasons！
First？most of them thought written homework was much more important than oral tasks were.
Second？they thought a huge amount of written homework given by the teachers of different subjects must be handed in the next day.And all the teachers would check it carefully？while the English teacher might spend a little time checking the oral task？so they had to finish written homework first and sometimes they had no time to do the oral tasks.
they felt it was very difficult to recite such long lessons. Third？
Fourth？they felt tired of practising dialogues without partners？while they
could not find partners.Most of my students did not do the oral practice I asked them to do after class？because 70？of the students thought regularly
practising oral English after school could improve their English speaking and about 63？of them thought oral practice was very necessary.But they might run up against difficulties that they could not overcome？so they lost their
confidence and interests.
2.2.4 Brainstorming activation’
When 1 was engaged in the problem analysis？I consulted my thesis
supervisor Miss Li and often talked to my classmates and colleages about all the problems I met.They gave me a lot of advice and help so that I pondered the problem more deeply and carefully.After a lengthy problem analysis？I
determined to launch a project to overcome this problem.
2.3 Project objective
My research objective is to enhance my students’interests in doing oral practice after class.
2.4 Project hypothesis
It is hypothesized that learners'interests in oral practice after class is increased by better organization.
With these reasons in mind？I have correspondingly provided some
possible solutions which are as follows.
2.5.1 Help my students to make up nine groups.
2.5.2Give them some priming materials.necessary background information and useful
linguistic forms.I also provide topics that are dose to reallife and closely
relate to my purpose ofpractising spoken English to expand their view.
2.5.3 Give them chances to act out their own dialogues or plays before the class.
2.5.4 Check their performance regularly.
2.5.5 Give them less written homework when they need to do oral practice after class.
3.FullScaled Implementation of the Solutions
This part of my study was conducted during May 16.2003一Jun Ist？2003.
3.1 Make up groups
In order to guarantee that most of the students would be highly involved into the oral practices？I decided to make up groups.Through the
investigations？I found there were two main problems for them to do oral practice by themselves at home.One was the family members of most students did not know or hardly knew English.When the students met difficulties or had problems？they couldn’t be corrected in time.The other was they thought there was little pleasure to practice without a partner.Through analysis？
I thought 1 would like to give the spoken purpose of communication？So it
was the most effective that Ishould create chances for them to communicate with each other in English.1 was also conscious that the students were all 13 or 14 years old and were all English learning beginners？So they had strong？
not only both of mutual dependence.If they were organized into small groups。
the problems above could be Solved but also they could achieve the purpose of communication.Moreover？I could cultivate their spirit of cooperation and achieve unity among students by making them learn from each other and help each other.
In my class there were 49 students？so I divided them into 12
groups.When I did the work？I followed three principles！
3.1.1 Members of each group lived in the same area.For example？
students who lived in the
school formed school groups.They could select freely any spare time to practise oral work together whereas the students who lived out of school formed groups by themselves.They could practise after class？before going
home.They could also practise by telephone.
3.1.2 Each group was composed of the students of different English levels So that good students could help those who had lagged behind.
3.1.3Each group was made up of the students of different personalities in order to exert thespecialties of every student and make up for each other's deficiencies.
3.2 Provide materials
In order to make it sure that the students could do the oral tasks better？I
provided them with a lot ofmaterials for reference.The students of 13 or 14 years old are usually curious.They have strong desire ofseeking knowledge and novelty.They hope to express what they are interested in？but they can
onlyspeak a little English.Besides？the students have little social experience？
their trains of thought are limited.So they are not satisfied with the materials supplied only from texts.In order to solve theproblem？I provided them with a lot
of related words？topics and model dialogues.Moreover？I also especially
selected those materials that were close to reallife and could interest the students.I thought the materials were very useful for helping the students to expand their trains of thought and learn more.I found with such help they could make up very good dialogues and could speak English more smoothly and confidence than before..
3.3 Ask them to perform
I created chances for the students to act out their dialogues and small plays.Most of students are willing to show their abilities before others.And most of students hope to be praised and encouraged by the teacher and other students.Therefore I asked them to act out their own plays in class.I asked the students to elect the best“actor and actress”？the best writer and the best
director.They looked very excited and anxious to act.Sometimes some students were so eager to correct the mistakes made by the players.Laughter could be heard now and then？thus the classroom atmosphere seemed quite
active.More students were very happy and earnest to practise after class.
3.4 Check their oral work
I decided to check their oral work because many students would usual do better under the
supervision of their teachers or parents.Sometimes I tell them to recite some passages before me.Sometimes I give them five minutes to write from memory.Sometimes I ask their parents to record the time of every oral work at home.
3.5Reduce their stress
I decided to simplify the students’oral homework.The students omen complained they had too much written homework--not only English homework？
but also the homework of other subjects.They thought written homework must be finished on time.so they had no enough time to do oral work.I thought I should make allowances for the students' pressure.So I adopted two effective measures to reduce their stress.
One was that I gave them less written homework when I asked them to do oral practice after class.The other was I simplified the exercises in class.For example？if 1 wanted them to recite a lesson？I taught them how to retell or
abbreviate the lesson.The short passage must contain the main idea？the main
patterns and some new expressions.And then I asked them to recite the short passage.When we did that like this？we could get three benefits？firstly？they
learned to retell a text or abbreviate an article.Secondly？they felt happier to
recite a simplified passage.Thirdly？they could review what they had just
learned in class in time.
4.Oral Practice Design
My hypothesis is that learners' interests in oral practice after class is increased by better organized activities.Moreover？my new assignment
activities should have a real information value so that Students have a real purpose to communicate.I designed three activities to be tried out in three weeks.And these activities are reported as follows.
Week l Activity 1 Talking about the weather
This activity is based as in New Concept English Book I lesson 53“An Interesting Climate”.
Purpose！to practise using useful expressions in talking about the weather.
Students worked in groups.They made new dialogues by Instructions！
themselves after class.Then they acted out their dialogues in class.
Procedure！I taught the text of Lesson 53.Then I provided the students three cities and a lot of related material？which classified into four aspects！
locations？seasons？weather？and plants.And I also provided some related
topics and model dialogues for their reference.Next I allowed them to rehearse their dialogues for four days.At last I arranged a whole class for them to perform.When they were performing in Class？Three students and I gave the
actors or actresses marks.Through discussion？marks were given following
three standards！firstly？their pronounciation and intonation，secondly？their
thirdly？their level of performance.After performance.I mistakes in dialogues，
asked all of the students to elect excellent actors？actress？writers and
directors.For students！The students had to work in groups.They could act
different people in different places.Each role had to say at least five sentences and each group had to write down their play or dialogue and hand it in.
Week 2 Activity 2 The visit to Monkey Island.
This activity is based as in junior Engush for China Book 2B？Unit 25？
Lessons 9799？”the visit to Monkey Island’.
Purpose！to practise the function Conjecture and the
gramunarInfinitive.Instructions！At first Igot the individual students to retell each lesson after class.Then I got the students to act out the play in groups.
Procedure！When I finished teaching a lesson。I asked the students to
retell the lesson after class.
The next day I asked some students to retell the lesson in class.and then I gave them some
necessary advice.When I finished the three lessons, the students could retell a whole story.Then thestudents worked in groups after class.One of them played the part of narrator.The others played Lucy？ Jim？Kate？Bruce and Ah
Fang.At last I asked three groups to give their performance in front of the class.
Week 3 Activity 3 An American boy
This activity is based on Junior English for China？Book 2B？、Unit、26？
Lesson 103？“An Americanboy”.Purpose！to practise the method of retelling a
Instructions！I got the students to retell the text alone or work in groups after class.then I toldeveryone to retell the text in front of me.
Procedure！In class I taught the text.Then I taught them how to retell a story.I led them to find out the main words and sentences.I told them that they
must retell something about who？what？when？where？how and the main ideas
of the text.The students could use the new words and new patterns of the text and they could also use their own words.I let the students retell the story alone or do it in groupsafter class.The next day I gave them a model of retelling the text in class.Then I told every student toretell in front of me during the break
hera mark. instead of reciting the original text.After that I gave him，
Week 4 Activity 4How great Lei Feng!
Book 2B？Unit 27？ This activity is based as in Junior English for China？
Lessins 106？“A page froma student's diary”.The same as Activity 3.
(See Appendices B？C and D)
After four weeks’action research？I designed Questionnaire Two(See
Appendix E).The second questionnaire was partly based on Questionnair One in the preliminary research so that comparisons couldbe made to see the improvement.In designing this new questionnaire？I also used freed back
from my solutions to the problems discussed so that their effectiveness could be reflected by the results.
Compared with the first questionnaire？the second one had its own
features？for by now 1 was moreconscious of the usefulness of the oral practice management I suggested.I especially hoped to know what my students are.The results are listed as follows！
After I implemented the project.60？of my students can do very well.If we
ask the percentage of the students choosing 5 and 4 together in Questionnaire Two？we may conclude that 75？of the students can do oral tasks on their own initiative and enthusiasm.But I also learn that about 25？of them sometimes
did not do their oral homework.This may be caused by both students and me.Some of them did not study hard？some aro very weak in English？while
others might dislike my oral tasks.So I should try my best to do my work better.I think the improvement is mainly due to these four factors！Firstly？
providing very effective help o Secondly？improving the recited
homework.Thirdly？practising oral tasks every time.
After I thought seriously and had exchanges of views on the project with my students.I found out that although atmosphere in the oral tasks had been improved a lot through the fullscaled implementation？there was still much that
would need further improvement.Only when I make continuous reflection in my teaching？can I make greater progress.The most frequently mentioned problems can be categorized into three aspects！
Firstly？the problem of the textbook，vocabulary is small？and oral practice
in textbook is
Secondly？the way of teaching！I should provide more interesting and
practical oral tasks.
Thirdly？the way of learning！Some students are lacking interests in
studies.They have some wrong ideas about their studies.
The present study is chiefly based on the project that I proceeded from May？2003 to June？2003？ which aimed to enhance my students’interest in doing oral practice after class.Six weeks age？I determined to work on the
crucial problem that most of my students had not done the oral practice I assigned them to do after sch001.In my study I used the analytic method.Socratic Dialogue cause analysis.I also formulated a specific research objective and a research hypothesis.And then 1 worked out five possible solutions.Next I implemented my project.I did much improvement in four aspects when I designed my oral tasks and organized my students to do the oral tasks.After implementing my fourweek project？I did a questionnaire survey
to see the result.From the data？1 think the methods used in problem analysis are suitable？the problem objective is realistic？the hypothesis is provable？and
the project has a sound basis.Now I can be very happy to say that my problem has been successfully solved(For instance？most of my students？75？of them？
began liking to do the oral practice I assigned them after school.In addition, the annual competitions in English style in our school have more than 90% of the students involve in crazy oral English practice… ).
The final report is drawing to an end but my action research is not.In fact, it 's ONLY JUST BEGU N.
Gu Yuegno？Practical Project Design？Foreign Language Teaching and
Research Pr-~s 1999.
Gu Yuoguo？English Language Teaching Methodology？Foreign
Language Teaching and Research Press？1999.
JuniorEnsUshforChinaTeacher's Book 2B.PeopleEducationPress
Junior English for ChinaStudent's Book 2B？People Education Press.
Senior English for ChinaStudent's Book 113？People Education Press.
Senior English for China Teacher's Book 1B？People Education Press.
New Concept EnglishBook I.
the annual competitions in English style in our school