The present study reveals the reasons that many students fall behind others after learning English even a short time. And according to these reasons, some solutions and advice are presented
I have been teaching the students in a junior middle school in the country for about seven years. In my teaching, I’ve found that many students fall behind others quickly in Grade 1 or Grade 2. It’s very bad for their further study. It’s a big disadvantage for them to go to high school or university. Now I will have finished English study in Jiangxi educational University. I hope I can reveal the reasons and find the possible solutions to this problem. So that I can improve my English teaching, help my students and improve my ability of studying English teaching &learning problems.
2. Project objective
My research objective is to build the students’ confidence when learning English, enhance their interest and help the students to learn in many ways.
The education policy of our nation is to provide good and complete education for all the students. So the falling students problem has become a really serious problem. My preliminary research confirmed that there are many reasons accounted for the Students’ falling behind others in English learning. I have investigated 200students from Grade One in our school and get them to answer the reasons why they fall behind others. They can be shown in the following form.
Number of student
Obviously, from the table above, they can be described specifically as follows:
The students' side
1) Learning English words and grammar points is a tiring job. Many students prefer to do maths or science exercises rather than reciting English words grammar items, dialogues or passages. According related research, English is maybe the hardest subject for middle school students. It needs to be practiced again and again. It’s a little boring .So they are not interested in repeating, reading and learning English.
2) They have not enough confidence to learn English well. In their view, English is too difficult to learn it well .They are not willing to drop it, but they have to. Many students say: It took me the most time, but it’s still the poorest. And also what they learn in class, such as the ways of use the words, grammar rules, doesn’t seem to appear on test papers. They are afraid of English tests.
The teacher's side — that is yourself
1) English class is the concentrated learning time for the middle school students. They are told to take many notes in class and have to deal with heavy homework or assignments after class. Their teachers don’t ask them questions, don’t ask them to practice or act. What they can do is to sit quietly, watch carefully and write all the time .It isn’t interesting at all. So many students feel sleepy in class, let alone learn English.
2) They can not get immediate help when meeting difficulties in learning English. In class teachers don’t care whether they have understood or not. After class they have no chance to get help from the excellent students, either. At home their parents are often too busy to know about it. So they feel hopeless and frustrated.
2. Project hypothesis
It is hypothesized that must falling students can catch up with others, if they are encouraged, treated the same important as others and given enough care and help.
1). Find out the falling students early
Pay more attention to the whole teaching and learning process in class and get evidences of the pupils level and abilities. The earlier you find the possible falling students, the more easily they can keep pace with others. It’s also a necessary step for the teachers to design the teaching plan.
2). Confront the students privately to analyze the problem and identify causes. We should find a right chance to talk with them about the problem and the causes. You must be patient enough to let them be willing to tell you his or her troubles and accept your advice.
3). Help the students make a plan of action with learning goals
A proper goal is the key to succeed in learning English. English study is a process in which you can’t make them improve English one or two day, the only way you can take is to improve it step by step, day after day. Therefore, the teacher should offer some learning styles to make progress and develop the students’ steps to reach his goals.
4). Make the English class more attractive
First of all, make yourself a good actor and make the class a place for the Ss. To watch and act.
Secondly, be sure to use real items when and where necessary.
Thirdly ,to be humorous, and friendly to every student, and you will be popular with the falling students.
At last, give the falling students a chance to shine in class.
5). Keep an eye on the students’ learning after class.
The teacher should often ask about the students learning after class, follow up the students’ learning goals and listen to his learning ideas. If they make even a little progress, you should give them a praise and show your further hope.
6). Establish study group between the falling students and others.
In this way they will have more opportunities to study in partnership for accomplishing the plan. They will help each other in class or after class.
7). Congratulate the students on success in time
4.The Task Design?
Week 1. Time: Nov.6 Tuesday Class 1
“Food and Drink"
Purpose: A. Arousing the students’ interest in learning English.
B. Increase falling students’ enthusiasm.
C. consolidates students’ ability to use those language points and language skills to communicate, expressing their ideas and exchanging thoughts.
Step 1. Instruct the students to present their own experience on different food and drink. The purpose of this is to reduce their anxiety in English class. . The teacher may say some relevant background knowledge about the topic. The students talk about the topic in pairs.
Step 2. The students have to work in pairs or groups. The teacher teaches new words of food and drink with game playing and real objects. Students work in group of six to speak out the items in turn. The class assess which group work out the most and choose the best group as the winner.
Step3. The teacher then ask some falling pairs to speak it out. It’s possible that students make some mistakes during communication, either grammar or logic ones It’s not wise to correct their mistakes too often. If teachers always focus on these mistakes, students will be likely shut their mouths，afraid to use English. At this time, teachers should walk around to help those in trouble. When needed, teachers may join students to play a role, students are happy about teachers’ involvement.
Week 2. Time: Nov.20 Tuesday Class 1
“Could you help me?"
Purpose: A. Arousing the students’ interest in learning English.
B. Make the students know to deal with offering and requesting help
C. Train students to ask help when meeting difficulty, and give help to those in trouble; develop their spirit to corporate with others.
Language points: words relating the topic
Language skills: listening and speaking
Form of activity: pair-work
Language tips： Let me help you／Could you help me, please?
Step 1. I design some situation happening inside or outside the school, such as borrowing or lending school things from or to Others, offering help to teachers, giving help to the Old or the crippled in a bus, asking the way?to somewhere etc．
Step 2. Students work with their partners in pairs, and I pick some pairs to perform in the front of the class.
Step 3. Establish study group between the falling students and others. In this way they will have more opportunities to study in partnership for accomplishing the plan.
Week 3. Time: Dec.4 Tuesday Class 1
Purpose : A. to consolidate or reflect falling students on what has been read in the text.
? B. to relate the text to the students’ own knowledge, interest or views.
C. to check the result of the project.
Step 1. The students may have an oral discussion of the main idea of the text. The teacher should constantly encourage the falling students to discuss or argue, then ask several students to do the oral work.
Step 2. The teacher should design a debate task for the falling students about the good and bad points of traveling. Students work in group of six, coming up with these good points: increasing knowledge, tasting different food, enjoying beautiful scenery and meeting people; Bad points included: wasting time and money, doing badly to the nature, making people tired and so on.
5. Control and target group
I set up control and target groups, My students are of Grade One in middle school. It happened that I teach two parallel classes. I choose Class 1 as the target group and Class 2 as the control group. The implementation of the project takes four weeks. I enhanced the falling students’ interest in Class 1 by using the new teaching method , while my teaching method to Class 2 remain unchanged .By the end of the fourth week I designed a reading comprehension test paper for both the groups.(to see appendix C) To my surprise, the grade of the target group is 23 percent higher than that of the control group. This well shows that the students' ability can be improved by
using the new teaching method.
Just so so
(1) Findings in observation
A comparison shows that most falling students have more interest obviously in terms of both the students' individual response and the classroom atmosphere. Both the teacher and the students respond that English class is easier to go on than before and that no one feels as nervous or worried as before. Most students express their willingness to have English class since they have regarded it as an important way of acquiring language as well as enjoying themselves.
(2) Findings from Questionnaires I and II
Figure 1. The comparison of degree of interest in Class 1 (Target Group)
Between pre-trial and post-trial (40students as the subject)
Figure 2. The comparison of degree of interest between Class1
(Target Group)and Class 2(Control Group) post-trial
(40students each as the subject)
Just so so
Figure 1 shows the change of the control group’s interest before and after the project implementation. Students who tick “very interested” in the post-trial questionnaire are 27.5% more than those in the pre-trial questionnaire. Nobody tick “anxiety” while in the pre-trial questionnaire 20% of them did.
Figure 2 shows the comparison of interest between the control group and the target group. From the figure we can see that the average “A burden” and “Anxiety” intensity in target group is obviously lower than that in the control group, which proves that my project objective is realistic and my project hypothesis is provable.
The project can get falling students to have much interest in English learning, after the teacher perform or display how people use a language, the falling students will understand the vocabulary, the grammar more easily and they will feel the class very real and life like. The teacher’s colorful gestures and different tone of voice may attract their fall attention. The humorous tone, the kindness will attract falling students. They love you, and your class, too. They also like learning English.
The present study presents the falling students problem.After careful analysis, four causes of the problem are shown in the report. According to these reasons and teaching practice, I present some possible solutions. But there is still a lot of work for us to do to help the falling students .If we solve this problem completely, English teaching in our country will be improved quickly. English is a bridge to other countries, to the sea of knowledge to the information around the world. Every English teacher in China must try our best to help every student to learn it better.
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