Tải bản đầy đủ - 0trang
Table 1.2 The content in the textbook “Speak Out, Upper- Intermediate” is difficult for me.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 10 of 63.
Table 2.11 I would like my teacher to use Socratic Seminars instead of
traditional methods in the speaking class.
List of figures:
Figure 1. Cyclical AR model based on Kemmis and McTaggart (1988)
List of abbreviations:
English Language Teaching
English Foreign Language
Footer Page 10 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 11 of 63.
This chapter introduces the study by outlining the statement of the
problem, the rationale for the study, the significance and contribution of the
study, the research questions and purposes, the methodology adopted, and the
structure of the thesis.
1. Statement of the problem and Rationale for the study
Speaking is considered to be the fundamental skill to acquire. Nunan
(1991) states that for most people, mastering speaking skill is the single most
important aspect of learning a second or foreign language, and success is
measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in language.
Lawtie (2004) explains why speaking skill should be taught in classroom.
The first reason is that many students equate being able to speak a language as
knowing the language and, therefore, view learning the language as learning
how to speak the language. Therefore, if students do not learn how to speak or
do not get any opportunity to speak in the language classroom they may soon
get demotivated and lose interest in learning. Second, speaking is fundamental
to human communication. If the goal of teaching language is to enable students
to communicate in English, then speaking skills should be taught and practiced
in the language classroom. Therefore, EFL learners’ speaking needs to be the
focus of attention in the EFL teaching contexts (Albino, 2017).
Speaking skill, however, is a difficult one to acquire because it requires
more than the knowledge of grammatical and semantic rules (Kang Shumin,
2002). It requires students to be able to communicate properly in social
interactions. Moreover, the process of teaching speaking exists some problems.
Lawtie (2004) states that there are three problems identified in speaking class:
(1) Students do not want to talk or say anything because they are afraid of
making mistakes or because they are not interested in the topic, (2) When
Footer Page 11 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 12 of 63.
students work in pairs or groups, they just end up chatting in their own language
and (3) When all the students speak together, it will be too noisy and out of
hand, sometimes the teacher loses control of the classroom. This may affect
teacher-student interaction in a negative way and make the lesson less
Moreover, training students how to communicate effectively is not
primarily emphasized. According to Gorkaltseva, Gozhinand Nagel (2015),
English in Russia, though being a compulsory subject at universities, was not
actually taught for the sake of verbal discourse and speaking English was not the
primary focus at universities. Similarly, in the Republic of Angola, Albino
(2017) claimed that English language was taught mainly for the purpose of
communication was still a big problem to concern because they could not
express their ideas fluently. Noomura (2013) asserts that the students were
passive learners; they were shy to speak English with their classmates. They
lacked opportunities to use English in their daily life. They lack motivation and
responsibilities for their own learning in the unchallenging English classrooms.
In Vietnamese context,
it is widely acknowledged that
communicative competence of Vietnamese learners is far from expectation at
the completion of university education” (Hao, 2017). Hong (2006) also shows
that “the poor quality of teaching speaking at a university in Vietnam results in a
large number of graduates who have difficulty with communicating English”.
Although the government has prioritized the goal that the majority of students
will be able to use English competently by 2020 and many teachers of English
have adopted a variety of methods to encourage students to learn English, it is
important to have appropriate techniques that can help students to participate in
the class more actively and develop their independent learning style. At Hanoi
Pedagogical University 2, it is necessary to have such techniques to help
students to improve their speaking skill when the goal of teaching speaking for
Footer Page 12 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 13 of 63.
second-year students is that students will be able to communicate at upperintermediate level. Among innovative approaches, the Socratic seminar emerges
as a promising alternative to encourage partnership between teaching, learning
and research in the field of the arts, humanities and social sciences (Blessinger
and Carfora, 2014, p.3).
2. Aims of the study and research questions
The study is expected to investigate the students’ perspectives on the use
of Socratic Seminar in speaking class. There is only one research question that
the research is seeking to answer:
What are the students’ perspectives on the use of Socratic Seminar in
3. Methods of the study
The methodological approach was action research using various methods
for data collection. There were two cycles in the study. In the first cycle, the
researcher implemented the Socratic Seminar into the speaking class. All
participants including teacher and students carried out their duties through four
stages: planning, action, observation, reflection. After the observation and
reflection, the teaching approach was revised to improve the lessons for the next
cycle. The tools for data gathering were questionnaires, group interviews, and
video-based observation. Two questionnaires were delivered to students. The
former was used to find out the cause of the low level in students’ speaking
performance while the latter was employed to find out their perspectives
towards the technique after trying-out strategies. A group interview was also
made after the completion of each cycle. All the lessons were video-taped to
describe what had happened in the classroom.
Footer Page 13 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 14 of 63.
4. Scope of the study
In this study, the researcher focused on how Socratic Seminar works in
only speaking skills. Regarding the participants, the researcher only chose one
class as a single case of the study.
5. Significance of the study
The study, once finished, would be a useful material for many readers.
First, the study offers readers an insight into the alternative pedagogical
technique which could be adapted into language teaching. Second, the study
could provide some recommendations thanks to students’ perceptions towards
the method. Last but not least, the study could serve as a reference material for
further research, anyone who shares the same interest can find the useful
information in the study.
6. Organization of the study
The paper consists of three parts as follows:
The Introduction section describes the
statement of the problem and the rationale for the
study. Then, it discusses the purpose of the study
and the research question. After that, the
introduction chapter introduces methodology and
scope of the study. Last but not least, the outline
of the study is presented.
Part B: Development
The Literature Review chapter lays the
theoretical foundation of the study. Also, a
concise review of related studies worldwide is
The Methodology chapter details the
Footer Page 14 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 15 of 63.
Specifically, the participants, the instruments as
well as the procedures of data collection and
analysis will be discussed in details.
Action and outcomes of
research cycle one
This chapter details what the stages in the
first cycle, what had happened in the classroom,
what students thought about the new change in
The Action and Outcomes of Research
Cycle Two goes into detail how revised plan was
made after reflection on the cycle one, what
Action and outcomes happened in the classroom after making changes,
of research cycle two what students thought about the new speaking
The Conclusion chapter ends the study by
summarizing the main points, discussing the
implications, showing the limitations, and giving
some suggestions for further studies.
Footer Page 15 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 16 of 63.
PART B: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter reviews the various definitions of Socratic Seminar. The
chapter also discusses the existent literature on Socratic Seminar in terms of its
roles on education and drawbacks. The chapter shows the relations between the
use of Socratic Seminar and speaking teaching. This discussion reveals the gaps
in research on the use of the technique, some of which this study has tried to fill.
To be more specific, the discussion shows that there has been a scarcity of
research on the use of Socratic Seminar in foreign language teaching in
1. Socratic Seminar
There are various definitions of Socratic Seminar (also known as Socratic
Circles). Lesley Lambright (1995) defines a Socratic Seminar as an “exploratory
intellectual conversation centered on a text”. According to Elfie Israel (2002,
p.89), “Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the
leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students
listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and
articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They
learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly”.
Matt Copeland (2005)’s definition is that Socratic Seminar is “a
constructivist strategy in which participants engage in a conversation to
collectively seek a deeper understanding of complex idea”. Victor Moeller
(2015) identifies Socratic Seminar as an exercise in “reflective thinking”.
From all the definitions mentioned, it appears that the researchers agree
students play an active role in learning in Socratic Seminar. This seems to be in
line with the student-centered approach, which Vietnamese educators are
dedicated to implement in teaching context.
Footer Page 16 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 17 of 63.
1.2 The procedure of Socratic Seminar
Matt Copeland (2005) describes the procedure of Socratic Seminar as
1. On the day before a Socratic circle, the teacher hands out a short
passage of text.
2. That night at home, students spend time reading, analyzing, and taking
notes on the text.
3. During class on the next day, students are randomly divided into two
concentric circles: an inner circle and an outer circle.
4. The students in the inner circle read the passage aloud and then engage
in a discussion of the text for approximately ten minutes, while students in the
outer circle silently observe the behavior and performance of the inner circle.
5. After this discussion of the text, the outer circle assesses the inner
circle’s performance and gives ten minutes of feedback for the inner circle.
6. Students in the inner and outer circles now exchange roles and
7. The new inner circle holds a ten-minute discussion and then receives
ten minutes of feedback from the new outer circle.
The procedure may vary in each aspect, but the essence of the seminar
lies on the discussion-feedback-discussion-feedback pattern. Once students have
familiarized themselves with the structure of the Socratic seminar, teacher can
modify the discussion according to content, focus, and purpose.
1.3 Types of questions used in Socratic Seminars
Mortimer Adler (1948) classified three kinds of questions. He asked: “(1)
What does the author say? (2) What does he mean? (3) Is it true? Does it have
any relevance to you here today?” In 1956, Bloom categorized eight educational
objectives that used examples of questions for each kind of thinking:
Footer Page 17 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 18 of 63.
knowledge, comprehension, translation, interpretation, application, analysis,
synthesis, and evaluation. The researcher agreed with Moeller (2015)’s opinion
that it is not necessary to adopt Bloom’s classification into the classroom
discussion because it becomes obvious that translation, application, analysis,
synthesis can represent interpretation while knowledge and comprehension can
be put under the umbrella of knowledge. The questions thus can be categorized
into three types:
Factual question: A factual question has only one correct answer which
can be found from the text.
Interpretive question: An interpretive question has more than one correct
answer because there might be a wide range of opinions about the interpretation
in the meaning.
Evaluative question: An evaluative question used to ask ones to think
about their experience or values. Such questions sometimes would ask them
how they would act if they had a similar situation to the characters in the text.
1.4 Roles of Socratic Seminar in education
Thomas (2009) argued the importance of the Socratic Seminar as a
teaching technique that breaks the pattern of conformity and goes beyond the
traditional lecture and assessment curriculum. According to Matt Copeland
(2005), he shows that the use of Socratic Seminar could have positive effects on
students in terms of academic skills and social skills.
1.4.1 Developing students’ academic skills
According to Matt Copeland (2005), one benefit of Socratic Seminar is
that it “brings all the areas of curriculum and instruction together into a cohesive
whole”. He also states that the use of Socratic Seminar could foster students’
critical thinking, creativity, and critical reading. Moreover, students can develop
“a lifelong love of reading” (Matt, 2005) by repeatedly reading the texts and
analyzing the materials. Students could improve their speaking and listening
Footer Page 18 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 19 of 63.
skills when engaging in the discussion. Because of the way Socratic Seminar is
structured, students “learn quickly to improve their learning so that they hear
with their ears allows them to listen with their minds”. Also, students are quick
to point out when they are not listening to one another, which helps them to
understand the importance of listening skill to the success of discussion, then
they could find a way to solve it.
Instead of remaining silent during the class, they become “more active
and vocal learning participants” (Matt, 2005). Reflective thinking is also the
benefit students can gain when they are in a Socratic class. They can be able to
“mull over past experiences, assessing one’s own performance, and establishing
goals for future performance”. Adler (1982) shows that Socratic Seminar could
teach students “how to analyze as well as the thoughts of the other, which is to
say it engages students in disciplined conversation about ideas and values”.
1.4.2 Developing students’ social skills
Students can promote their team-building skills. As Lambright (2005)
says, “Socratic Seminar are team-building situation, through mutual inquiry in a
cooperative setting, leaders and learners alike apply knowledge, making
reasoned connections within themselves, with other group members, and with
the text”. Matt (2005) also indicates that students “are able to practice working
collaboratively on a problem from a common starting point.” Socratic seminar
is not only the way to understand the text but it is also the way to understand
people when “it guides students to develop respectful, tactful, and kinder
attitudes and behaviors” (Tredway, 1995) and it “encourages students to be
accepting of people, opinions, ideas that are different from their own.” (Matt,
1.5 Some problems might occur during the progress of a Socratic
Despite the numerous benefits of using Socratic Seminar in classroom, the
opponents of the technique argue that the technique might not be effective in
Footer Page 19 of 63.
Tài liu lun vn s phm 20 of 63.
elementary-level classes, which mostly ask students yes - no questions. As a
result, the use of open-ended questions in the class would be eliminated (Holme,
1992). Polite and Adam (1997) also show that the difference in expectations
between normal class and seminar class causes difficulties for some students.
Some students, moreover, prefer the traditional classroom setting to one where
the onus of learning is on them. Matt (2005) lists four problems arising from the
use of the seminar: (1) Socratic Seminar is also considered as time-consuming,
(2) The discussion, moreover, is often left without complete “closure”, (3) The
discussion also may arrive at conclusion with which the teacher is unfamiliar,
(4) The seminar appears “unstructured” to the uninformed observer.
2. Speaking teaching
2.1 Definition of speaking skill
New Webster Dictionary (1994) states that speaking is an act to express
ideas, feelings and thoughts orally, which is also known as oral
communication. Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning
that involves producing and receiving and processing information (Brown,
1994; Burns & Joyce, 1997). Its form and meaning are dependent on the
context in which it occurs, including the participants themselves, their
collective experiences, the physical environment, and the purposes for
speaking. Chaney (1998) defines speaking as “the process of building and
sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols in a variety
2.2 The importance of speaking skill
Of all the four skills, speaking skill plays an important role in helping
learners learn a foreign language effectively. According to Pattison (1992),
when people mention knowing or learning a language, they mean being able to
speak the language. It is also emphasized by Flohr and Paesler (2006) that “the
focus in learning a foreign language is on communication activities and
Footer Page 20 of 63.