Research Article | Volume 5 Issue 2 (April - June, 2024)
A Survey of the Application of Group Work in Learning Speaking at Dong Nai University
1
Dong Nai University
Under a Creative Commons license
Open Access
Received
Jan. 9, 2024
Revised
Jan. 19, 2024
Accepted
March 19, 2024
Published
May 13, 2024
Abstract

The purpose of teaching and learning a target language is to communicate with people from  different areas and different countries. However, some students have the tendency to feel shy to talk with foreigners. Moreover, students themselves do not have many chances to speak English at school. For these consequences, when they are at university, this is really a barrier that prevents them from acquiring new knowledge as well as applying for a job in foreign company when they graduate from the university. Knowing this, today, many teachers are trying to find out a variety of techniques to teach speaking effectively at the very start of students' study at university. With the popularity of using group work these days, this research is intended to figure out the application of group work in learning speaking at Dong Nai University through students’ opinions about the use of this kind of technique among first year English majors. This survey is carried out on one hundred and seventy four students in three classes at Dong Nai University. The research instrument used in this survey is a questionnaire which is designed by the researcher based on the merits and defects of using group work. Then percentage and frequency are used to analyze the data collected. The findings of students' opinions about the use of group work in speaking classes somehow help the teachers to better the weaknesses of this technique and promote its strengths in teaching and learning speaking.

Keywords
Group work
Learning speaking
Dong Nai University
Foreigners and questionnaire.
Important Note:

Key findings:

The key findings of this abstract are centered around the application of group work in learning speaking skills among first-year English major students at Dong Nai University. Through a survey involving 174 students, the research aimed to gather students' opinions on the effectiveness of group work, providing insights to enhance the technique's strengths and address its weaknesses in teaching and learning speaking.

 

 

What is known and what is new?

The known aspect in this abstract is the challenge students face in speaking English due to shyness and limited practice opportunities. The new contribution is the exploration of using group work to enhance speaking skills among first-year English major students at Dong Nai University, aiming to address these challenges and improve language acquisition and communication abilities.

 

 

What is the implication, and what should change now?

The implication of this research is the importance of addressing students' shyness in speaking English and the limited opportunities for English practice in schools to enhance their communication skills for future job prospects. Changes needed include implementing effective group work techniques from the beginning of university studies to improve students' speaking abilities and confidence in using English in real-world scenarios.

INTRODUCTION:

Background to the study

In the progress of international integration, English is one of the essential tools for people
from many countries and areas to communicate and cooperate with each other. For this reason, in Vietnam, nowadays, English has become a compulsory subject from the very start of a  student’s studying. However, a considerable issue is that some students are said to lack the  ability to communicate fluently in English or other languages. 

 

 

There are many reasons for this issue. First of all, the voice and accent in particular areas have a great influence on the English accent. Secondly, in some remote or mountainous areas, there are not enough facilities for teaching and learning English (especially for listening and speaking skills). Although the course book contains all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing and one part for grammar and pronunciation from the very start, teachers and students still cannot cover all these parts completely during the whole course due to the time limit. Moreover, to teach listening and speaking, English teachers need to have a certain quality as well as some interesting techniques to push their students to be involved in these lessons. 

 

For all of the reasons above, the researcher conducted research at Dong Nai University.

 

 

Aims of the study

Recently, group work has become more and more popular and used by most of English
teachers as a tool for students to practice English with their partners. Therefore, this study did not intend to introduce group work as a new technique but aimed to find out the current use of group work and students’ opinions about the use of group work in learning speaking skill at Dong Nai University.

 

 

Research questions

In order to accomplish the goals mentioned above, the study was conducted to answer the two 

following questions:

∙ How is group work applied in speaking classes at Dong Nai University?

∙ What are the learners’ opinions about the use of group work in learning speaking skill at
Dong Nai University?

 

 

Scope of the study

Learning a language requires learners to focus on four skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing. Group work can also be applied in all these four skills. However, the current research focused only on speaking skill. Furthermore, among many universities, the study was just conducted to  investigate the student’ opinions about group work in learning speaking skills at Dong Nai University. Besides, the researcher just conducted the study among the first year English major students to collect the data for the students’ opinions to ask for their views about using this technique.

LITERATURE REVIEW:

Teaching speaking

Brown (2006) [1] suggests seven principles for designing speaking techniques that the teachers should take into consideration during the language teaching:

  1. Use techniques that cover the spectrum of learner needs, from language based focus on accuracy to message-based on interaction, meaning, and fluency.
  2. Provide intrinsically motivating techniques.
  3. Encourage the use of authentic language in meaningful contexts.
  4. Provide appropriate feedback and correction.
  5. Capitalize on the natural link between speaking and listening.
  6. Give students opportunities to initiate oral communication.
  7. Encourage the development of speaking strategies.

 

 

Furthermore, to conduct a speaking lesson, teachers should divide it into three stages:  stating objectives, presentation, practice and production [2]. The purpose of the first stage is to attract students attention and participation by giving students chances to brainstorm the objectives of learning then clearer instructions will be introduced. In the second stage, language will be presented in context to make sure that students will have a clear understanding for each language item. The last stage aims at checking whether students acquire what they have learnt or not so that teachers will have some feedback if necessary.

 

 

In general, during speaking lessons, teachers should make the objectives of learning clear to students. Then the materials or the topic should be familiar to students' daily life to make speaking become more meaningful and practical. Moreover, the role of teachers in these cases is to create a good speaking environment to help students apply and practice what they have known and what they have just learnt orally.

 

 

Communicative language teaching

In the early 1970s, because of the emergence of the new method in language teaching, Communicative Language Teaching, the teaching methodology was changed in some ways which put an emphasis on the purpose of communication. With the use of this method, it requires learners to communicate appropriately in each suitable situation. As Brown (2006) [1] said, this method moves “significantly beyond the teaching of rules, patterns, definitions, and other knowledge „about‟ language to the point that we are teaching our students to communicate genuinely, spontaneously, and meaningfully in the second language”. Thanks to this, the communicative approach encourages and gives chances for many interactive oral activities in class [3].

 

 

Definitions of group work

With the hope to give a complete and general definition for this term, Johnson, Johnson and Smith (1991) [4] defines group work as “a co- operative activity, during which students share aims and responsibilities to complete a task assigned by the teacher in groups or in pairs". In order to make clear distinction between working in a group and working as a group [5] emphasizes that “working in a group is mainly a matter of location”, which means that some students may sit together but play separate roles and do different activities without any discussion or cooperation whereas “working as a group presupposes a task in common”, which implies that students sit together, have the same purpose, interact with each other to get a result.

 

To reach the most complete definition for this term, group work is defined as over two members working together, sharing the same purpose, having interaction and cooperation to achieve a goal assigned. This means group work involves not only working together but also in helping each other to finish a certain task. Then, this one is the operational definition of “group work”.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of group work

Advantages
Cohen (2014) [6] states that “group work is an effective technique for achieving certain kinds of intellectual and social learning goals. It is a superior technique for conceptual learning, for creative problem solving, and for increasing oral language proficiency”. Having a good impression on the technique of using group work, Long and Porter (1985) [7] claims that students get more benefits when they have a chance to negotiate in a small group for meaning than in a whole class. Moreover, some students who feel shy to talk to express their opinions or to raise their voices in front of other people may feel a sense of security when they work in small groups with their friends [8].

 

 

Therefore, it somehow builds students‟ confidence levels [9, 10]. In addition, “group work immediately increases the amount of students talking time [11]. According to Ellis (2008) [12], as a result of having much more time and more chances to speak, students feel more motivated to participate in the lesson. The effect of group work is also added by Davis (1999) [13]. Davis believes that working in groups helps people to build and develop their critical thinking that may help them to examine, to judge, to analyze, to synthesize problems and then to make decisions. Other benefits of working in groups are transferring knowledge and enhancing students‟ intercommunication skills [14].

 

 

Therefore, group work helps learners with social learning skills, a sense of security, an increase in confidence level, time to speak, feeling of motivation, the development of critical
thinking, sharing knowledge and intercommunication skills.

 

Disadvantages
Besides the advantages mentioned above, several drawbacks of this technique are also arised by Harmer (2007) [11]. It is clear that conducting an activity that encourages all of the learners to talk will make noise in class. This sometimes may become a hard thing for teachers to control the whole class [15] and this may make other groups difficult to focus on their discussion or argument. Therefore, it requires the teachers some skills about class management to ensure all the things work well.

 

Moreover, it really takes time if the teachers do not set the time limit for each group to work in advance.

 

 

Another difficulty for working in groups is that some active students may dominate the others take a chance to talk or to express their ideas and ignore the other ideas.

 

 

A clear drawback of group work that most happens in speaking classes is that students may speak only in L1 when they discuss with each other [16]. Then, using group work may be noisy, easy to lose control of the class, time-consuming, hard to raise voice in big groups and the use of L1.

 

 

Conceptual framework

This study is a descriptive research on the students’ opinions about the use of group work in learning speaking. The following figure describes the relationships among them:

 

 

According to many researchers and experts, group work has its own advantages and disadvantages. With these ideas, the researcher intended to choose just a few general points to reflect all ideas above. Then, critical thinking was included in the point social skills. Security and motivation was included in the point of confidence. Noise, control, errors and the use of L1 was included in the point of management.

 

 

For this consequence, some points about social skills, confidence, sharing, time, and management were used to ask for students’opinions in learning speaking by group work. As Cohen (2014) [6] said, working in groups will help students build social skills because group work requires students to talk to each other about a topic assigned by the teachers, this makes them have more chances to be closer to each other, to learn how to listen to others, to decide what to do among many ideas (which is related to critical thinking) and to solve a problem as a group.

 

Moreover, having a good relationship with all members will create a friendly and safe environment in learning so that students will feel free to help others and feel motivated to
express their opinions as well as to share their ideas, which somehow builds students’ confidence [9, 10]. Having enough confidence, even shy students will dare to take part in group work. For this consequence, all members will have more opportunities to talk, to work together, to share their own opinions and to reach a final solution with the participation of the whole group [14]. However, in real speaking classes, the researcher knows that there are some active students who dominate in group work. These members have the tendency to do most of the work and there are still some passive students who hardly join in the work and just wait for others to help them. About the point of time, whereas Harmer (2007) [11] stated that all members in groups have much more chances to raise their voice rather than in the whole class, the expert also said that it really takes time if the teachers cannot control their classes. 

 

 

As mentioned above, management is a big problem in conducting group work. Working in groups requires all members joining the task to talk to each other and they need to raise their voice to discuss. Consequently, it is very easy to make noise in class. In these cases, it is also very difficult for the teachers and group leaders to control their class and their own group. The use of L1 is another problem since all members find it much easier to express what they think in their mother tongue rather than in English [11, 15, 16].

 

 

This framework draws upon the definition of group work and the merits and defects of using group work to learn speaking and replies on developing an understanding of the students’opinions of this technique through their learning. This means that the researcher hopes to discern how students think of this technique when it is used to help them with speaking skill. Finding out what they like and do not like will somehow reveal learners’ opinions.

 

METHODOLOGY:

Research design

The main purpose of this study is to investigate what students like and dislike about the current use of group work in speaking classes, the researcher chose survey as a method to collect the data.



 

Context of the study

Dong Nai University, which is located in the center of Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai, is chosen to conduct the study. It enrolls not only the students in Dong Nai province but also many other students in many areas in Vietnam. For first year students, they are provided the general English program that only requires the learners to get familiar with daily life conversations or the topics about their life. This is a preparatory step for first year students to learn English in the second year. All four skills of English (listening, speaking, reading, writing) are being taught. However, as the levels of English and ages of students are not homogenous, the teaching is quite a tough one.

 

 

Moreover, the habit of learning English is also an important problem. Students have the tendency to focus just only on reading and writing but have little chances for listening and speaking.

 


At university, the spirit of working in groups is highly appreciated in most of the tasks and activities in the course book. Especially because of the large class size at Dong Nai University, which contains nearly forty students each class, it requires the teachers to use group work to balance the chance of speaking for each student since they cannot cover all the number of students. However, as mentioned above, group work has its own advantages and disadvantages. The researcher, therefore, really cares about the use of this technique on the students’ speaking ability, which is said not to meet the requirement of the employer. For this reason, the study has been conducted.

 

 

Participants
One hundred and seventy-four students from three classes, who are now in the second
term of the first year at the university, took part in the survey. They are all learning English as
their major. Most of the students come from many different areas in Dong Nai and some come from other provinces in Vietnam.

 

 

Research instruments

In this survey, a questionnaire was used as a tool to collect the data.

 

There are sixteen questions (with some sub-questions) which are divided into four parts
in the survey. Part I is for the background information/ personal information of the participants. Part II identifies the current use of group work in learning speaking. Part IV is for students’opinions about the use of group work in speaking classes.

 

 

Data collection procedure

A number of questionnaires were distributed to 174 students. The advantage was that all students were in only 3 classes. For this reason, it was somehow convenient for the researcher to collect the data.

 

 

Data analysis procedure

In this quantitative study, in order to provide a general description of the current use of
group work and students’ attitudes, the researcher used frequency and percentage to analyze the data.
Then some tables were used to make clearer descriptions.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

One hundred and seventy- four questionnaires for students were sent out. However, only one hundred and fifty questionnaires were returned to the researcher, making up 86.2% response rate. Almost all students surveyed (approximately 98 %) have studied English for ten years. Then only 2% of the students (three students) have studied English for eleven years (two students) and twelve years (one student).

 

 

About the current use of group work in speaking classes, most of the students (60 %) asked how often they have a chance to learn speaking in group work said that they just sometimes learned speaking in groups. They spent most of their time on other skills, especially writing and language focus. In these speaking classes, 46 % responded that they most worked in groups of over five members. Then the teachers preferred to make students work in big groups rather than work in pairs or in small groups.

 

Table 1: Question 5: How many students in a group are most used in your class?

Responses Over 5
Frequency 14 42 21 73
Percentage 9.3% 28% 14% 48,7%

 

 

For group organization, teachers seem to be flexible to choose group members for each
group. Sometimes teachers help students with their group, sometimes they let students choose
the ones students like to work with. (Table 1)

 

Table 2: Question 6 : How is your group organized?

                          

Responses
Items

Always Usually Sometimes Rarely Never
Random by teachers16
10,7%
46
30,7%
68
45,3%
14
9.3%
6
4%
With your close friends46
30,7%
73
48,7%
20
13,3%
9
6%
2
1,3%
With people around you14
9,3%
53
35,3%
60
40%
20
13,3%
3
2%

 

 

Students have many chances to work with many people in their classes. From that, they have more opportunities to cooperate with many other learning styles and share more ideas with a variety of partners but not with the same group members all the time. (Table 2)

 

Table 3: Question 7: How are the activities designed for group work?

                  

Responses
Items

Always Usually Sometimes Rarely Never
From textbooks60
40%
77
51,3%
11
7,3%
2
1,3%
0
0%

From other sources
0
0%
50
33,3%
76
50,7%
24
16%
0
0%

 

 

Activities used for group work in speaking classes are not only from textbooks but also from other sources that may imply to challenge students and to create new problems for students to overcome.This somehow reflects the careful choices of the teachers in designing speaking tasks. (Table 3)


Table 4: Question 8: How much time does it take to conduct an activity for working in groups?

             

Responses
Items

Always Usually Sometimes Rarely Never
About 5 minutes24
16%
43
28,7%
46
30,7%
17
11,3%
20
13,3%
About 10 minutes9
6%
59
39,3%
56
37,3%
22
14,7%
4
2,7%
About 20 minutes0
0%
42
28%
66
44%
34
22,7%
8
5,3%
About 30 minutes3
2%
26
17,3%
40
26,7%
60
40%
21
14%
Over 30 minutes 

3,3%

14 

9,3%

14 

9,3%

68 

45,3 %

49

32,7%

 

 

The time limit for each activity is around ten to twenty minutes, sometimes five-minute tasks are also used. But the most frequent activities are ten-minute ones. Whereas five, ten and twenty- minute tasks are preferred, long time activities (thirty and over thirty minute ones) are rarely used in speaking classes. There may be many reasons for this. It may be because of the time limit or the level of students. (Table 4)

 

Table 5: Question 9: How does your group work?

                           

Responses
Items

SA SD
1.Each member has different work29
19,3%
34
22,7%
57
38%
30
20%

2.All members discuss and reach a conclusion

 

62
41,3%
48
32%
21
14%
19
12,7%

 

 

It is clear that most of the students work with their group, discuss and argue with their members before they have a final solution for the task assigned. This may somehow reveal the cooperation in each group. (Table 5)

 

Table 6: Question 10: Students’ opinions about group work in speaking classes in relation
to intellectual and social skills

                          

Responses
Items

SA SD
1.Group members respect your opinions48
32%
97
64,7%
5
3,3%
0
0%
2.Active students dominate your group14
9,3%
39
26%
57
38%
40
26,7%
3.You are active in your group work25
16,7%
82
54,7%
28
18,7%
15
10%
4.There are many conflicts0
0%
41
27,3%
51
34%
58
38,7%
5. You understand your friends more
clearly
44
29,3%
67
44,7%
35
23,3%
4
2,7%
6. You can improve your critical thinking38
25,3%
67
44,7%
30
20%
15
10%

 

 

Over a half of the number of the students (64,7%) agree that their partners respect their ideas when working in groups. Active students are said not to dominate other people (38% students disagree with item 2) whereas most of the students (54,7%) say that they are active in group activity, which means that they work in harmony with each other. That is the reason why many students disagree and strongly disagree with item 4: “there are many conflicts” (34% and 38,7%). The table 6 also implies that the relationship among group members may be improved since most of the students (29,3% and 44,7%) agree that they can understand their friends more clearly. Therefore, using group work will make students become closer. For this reason, they may be more willing to help and learn from each other. Moreover, 70% students (25,3% and 44,7%) agree that they can improve their critical thinking, which is one of the most important skills that help students digest information from many different sources not only in their study but also in their life.

 

Table 7: Question 11: Students’ opinions about group work in speaking classes in relation
to confidence.

                      

Responses
Items

SA SD
1.All students have more chances to speak81
54%
67
44,7%
2
1,3%
0
0%
2.Shy students dare to raise their voices35
23,3%
88
58,7%
12
8%
15
10%
3. You feel more motivated to speak40
26,7%
54
36%
35
23,3%
21
14%


 

Nearly 100% students (44,7% and 54%) agree and strongly agree that all students have more chances to speak and 82% students (23,3% and 58,7%) agree that even shy students dare to raise their voices in speaking classes and 62,7% students (26,7% and 36%) agree that they feel more motivated to speak. For this consequence, when students work in groups, it may help even weak and shy students build more confidence and motivation to take part in activities assigned by the teachers. Moreover, working in groups may create a safe environment for students to talk and to join in group work. Therefore, many students have many opportunities to practice speaking. (Table 7)

 

Table 8: Question 12: Students’ opinions about group work in speaking classes in relation
to share.

                           

Responses
Items

SA SD
1.All members feel free to share ideas51
34%
83
55,3%
15
10%
1
0,7%
2.Group members help each other48
32%
97
64,7%
3
2%
2
1,3%
3.You can learn from your friends62
41,3%
87
58%
1
0,7%
0
0%


 

89,3% (55,3% and 34%) students assert that all members feel free to share ideas, 96,7% (64,7 % and 32%) students believe that group members help each other and 99,3% (58% and 41,3%) students say that they can learn from their friends. With these results, the researcher thinks that working in groups may help students get more ideas and have more knowledge about language and others. The fact that students can learn and share ideas with each other will make them help each other only in learning speaking but also in many other aspects in English. (Table 8)

 

Table 9: Question 13: Students’ opinions about group work in speaking classes in relation
to time.

                            

Responses
Items

SA SD
1. It takes time to discuss12
8%
27
18%
77
51,3%
34
22,7%
2. Members spend much time talking about other things19
12,7%
40
26,7%
70
46,7%
21
14%

 

 

Contrary to the idea that working in groups is time-consuming, the result from the questionnaires that 74% students (51,3% and 22,7%) disagree and strongly disagree with this issue. And 60,7% students disagree and strongly disagree with item 2 “Members spend much time talking about other things' '. The researcher thinks that item 2 may somehow be an answer for the result of item 1. It does not take students much time to talk about things not related to the topic, then they have more time to discuss and share ideas. Another reason is that, as mentioned above, for each activity, students have only ten to twenty minutes to finish. Being under the pressure of time may push students to focus on the task instead of talking about other things. (Table 9)

 

Table 10: Question 14: Students’ opinions about group work in speaking classes in terms
of management.

                    

Responses
Items

SA SD
1.It is noisy13
8,7%
64
42,7%
45
30%
28
18,7%
2.Group leaders can manage your group27
18%
103
68,7%
18
12%
2
1,3%
3.Group members can correct others’ mistakes39
26%
106
70,8%
3
2%
2
1,3%
4.Group members use Vietnamese to discuss20
13,3%
87
58%
39
26%
4
2,7%

 

 

51,4% students (42,7% and 8,7%) agree that working in groups is very noisy. 86,7 %
students (18% and 68,7%) believe that group leaders can manage group work very well. 96,8% students (26% and 70,8%) assert that group members can help them correct mistakes. 71,3% students (13,3% and 58%) claim that group members use Vietnamese in English speaking classes. Then, the problems in group work in terms of management are noise and the use of L1. In order to solve these ones, it requires much from the teachers and the group leaders to control. (Table 10)


Table 11: Question 15: How many students in a group do you think is most effective?

Responses5Over 5No
idea
 6
4%
54
36%
49
32,7%
29
19,3%
12
8%

 

 

36% students wish to work in groups of four whereas 32,7% students wish to work in groups of five. These are the two highest percent results among other ones, which imply that students prefer to work in small groups about four or five students in each group. However, as mentioned above, teachers seem to organize groups of over five students. Then this issue should be taken into consideration to make group work become more effective. (Table 11)

 

Table 12: Question 16: What do you want your teachers to facilitate group work activities?

Item Frequency Percentage
1. To provide input 135 90%
2. To give clear instructions 124 82,7%
3. To minimize their talking time 14 9,3%
4. To give more feedback 130 86,7%
5. To control Vietnamese use in class 107 71,3%
6. Others 11 7,3%

 

 

From the students’ opinions about the use of group work in speaking classes in relation to
intellectual and social skills, confidence, time, sharing and management, the researcher believes that the students somehow have a good impression with this technique in learning speaking. In spite of that, students themselves still have their own wishes. The levels of students in these classes are not the same, then they have much difficulty with the tasks assigned by the teachers, they wish to have more language input, more ideas and clearer instructions to help them organize the tasks. (Table 12)

 

 

Moreover, feedback is also one of their concerns. From the researcher’s perspective, weaker students need more feedback from teachers so that they can correct their mistakes, minimize their weaknesses and maximize their strengths.

 

 

As mentioned above, noise and the use of L1 are still big problems in English speaking classes. To control these problems, teachers need to have good management skills. The teachers should discuss with their colleagues to find out solutions for this. Or the teachers should nominate some students who are good at managing to be group leaders.

 

 

Besides that, there are eleven students who give more ideas for question 15. They say that they need more tests to push them to practice speaking more often. They wish teachers would design the tasks as interesting games or plays or songs so that all groups would compete with each other. Furthermore, they need some topics that are related to their daily life to make it more practical and more meaningful. Last but not least, the most important thing students want is that teachers would teach them and help them to find out their weaknesses and their strengths also and the way to learn speaking English and other skills effectively. In general, all these things are reasonable and should be taken into consideration since learning is a very long road, teachers should also make students feel more interested in learning so that gradually, students will know how to learn by themselves and will have more aspiration with studying.

CONCLUSION:

From the research result, it is quite clear that at Dong Nai University, students are prepared to learn speaking by group work. Conducting this technique, the teachers have a tendency to be flexible in the way they organize the group and in the material used in speaking lessons.
Students are given many chances to work in a variety of groups and to challenge themselves with many different kinds of tasks. This makes them become closer to each other since they are first year English majors. Understanding each other will make it easier for them to work, to share, and to discuss. In addition, students use their time quite perfectly when they work in groups. It does not take their time to talk or to do any other things. They also give weak students opportunities to take part in the task, then every member feels more motivated to join.

 

 

Most of the students agree that they gain social skills, develop their confidence, have more chances to learn as well as to share more opinions with each other after working in groups.
Moreover, they know how to control their time quite perfectly to finish the task assigned on time. These mean that most of students have rather good opinions about the application of this
technique in learning speaking.

 

 

However, although they wish to have time to use group work in learning to speak, they still worry about the drawbacks of this technique. Students themselves still think that it is too noisy to work in groups and the use of L1 in speaking classes is a hard thing that prevents them from practicing speaking skill. Furthermore, they really need more help from the teachers who can indicate their weaknesses and their strengths as well. And they also hope to have more speaking lessons that are closely related to their daily life.

 

 

Suggestions
About the time limit and the group member, the researcher thinks that if students are assigned a short time task, the number of the group should be small to make sure that all members have equal and enough chances to discuss and if students have to solve a long time task, it is better for them to work in big groups to get more ideas and to share more knowledge with each other.

In terms of the noise and the use of L1 in group work, the teachers should take it into account when they conduct the activity. Teachers may work with others to find out an appropriate method to control these things. Moreover, the researcher believes that teachers may nominate some active students or some students having good management skills to be group leaders of the groups. Besides, giving students bonuses may also be effective.

 

In addition, if necessary, to prevent shy students from sitting still waiting for others to do
The task for them, teachers may give marks for the whole group and let them decide the mark for each member (the most active one gets best mark and the most passive one gets lower mark, etc).


For the consequence, applying this method of giving mark may encourage all members to take
part in the task to get good results.

 

 

Recommendations
From the paper, the researcher wishes to give students and teachers a more general view on the use of group work. However, it is still limited to only one skill (speaking). The researcher hopes that there will be more papers written about this technique in all aspects of English learning and teaching.

 

Funding: No funding sources 

 

 

Conflict of interest: None declared

 

 

Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Dong Nai University

REFERENCES:
  1. Brown, H. Douglas. Principles of language learning and teaching: A course in second language acquisition. Pearson, 2014. https://thuvienso.hoasen.edu.vn/handle/123456789/12588 

  2. Johnson, K. "Writing'in: Johnson, K and Morrow, Κ (eds) Communication in the Classroom pp. 93-107." (1981).

  3. Byrne. Communication in The Classroom. Cambridge University Press, (1981).

  4. Johnson, David W. Cooperative Learning: Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 4, 1991. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183, 1991. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED343465 

  5. Byram, Michael and Hu, Adelheid. Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning. 2nd ed., Routledge, (2012).

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  7. Long, Michael H., and Patricia A. Porter. "Group work, interlanguage talk, and second language acquisition." TESOL quarterly 19.2 (1985): 207-228. https://doi.org/10.2307/3586827 

  8. Donald, S. H. A. N. E. "LEARNING HOW TO SPEAK: RETICENCE IN THE ESL CLASSROOM." Annual Review of Education, Communication & Language Sciences 7 (2010). https://research.ncl.ac.uk/media/sites/researchwebsites/arecls/donald_vol7.pdf 

  9. DePree, Julie. "Small-group instruction: Impact on basic algebra students." Journal of Developmental Education 22.1 (1998): 2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/773ee8ee4307ee383fe83f160a30bb7d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2030483 

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  13. Davis. "Cooperative Learning: Students Working in Small Group." Stanford University Newsletter on Teaching, (1999).

  14. Porter, J. Y. "Using learning communities to enhance counseling curriculum." Vistas 2006 Online (2006).

  15. Brown, H. Douglas, and Heekyeong Lee. Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. Pearson, 2015. https://thuvienso.hoasen.edu.vn/handle/123456789/11518

  16. Nation, Paul. "L1 and L2 use in the classroom: A systematic approach." TESL Reporter 30 (1997): 9-9. http://lir.byuh.edu/index.php/Issue1/article/download/1429/1373

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