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CHAPTER 1

THE STUDY

1.0

Introduction

The British colonial education system introduced the teaching of English in


Malaysia in the 1960s and it is still entrenched in the current Malaysian
education system (Asmah Haji Omar, 1992). English is taught as a second
language in all Malaysian schools, which is also a compulsory subject in
both primary and secondary schools. In the university level, local
undergraduates are required to register a stipulated credit hour of English
courses based on the result of their Malaysian University English Test
(MUET), which is an English proficiency assessment course and a
compulsory requirement for students who plan to pursue tertiary
education at Malaysian Universities (Malaysian Examination Council,
2006).
Studies by Griggs and Dunn (91984), Smith and Renzulli (1984), and
Wallace and Oxford (1992) have shown that a match between teachers
teaching style and learners preferred learning styles will increase
learners motivation and learning. However, serious mismatches between
both styles will result in students becoming bored, discouraged, becoming
inattentive and performing rather poorly in test and assessments (Felder
and Henriques, 1995). One way to help the teachers and learners with
learning style is by conducted a lesson study in the classroom.
Lesson Study is a teaching improvement and knowledge building
process that has origins in Japanese elementary education (Lewis,2002).
Stigler and Hiebert (1999) describe Lesson Study as a way for teachers to
look at their own practice with new eyes. It has been broadly described
as a systematic inquiry into teaching practice, carried out by examining
lessons. A teacher who works on Lesson Study involves planning, teaching,
observing, and critiquing the lessons. To provide focus and direction to this

work, the teachers select an overarching goal and related research


question that they want to explore. The research question then serves to
guide their work on all the study lessons. Lesson Study is more than
studying instructional materials and developing useful lessons. It is also
explores ideas for improved teaching that bring out students thinking and
thinking processes; helping students to develop mental images for solving
problems and understanding the topic; and expanding those skills and
abilities. Therefore, the advantages are more than improving the lesson
but also give a good impact towards the students performance in English
language.
In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education through the Professional
Lesson Communities (PLC) (Katina Matanluk et.al, 2013) introduced Lesson
Study. This programme is very effective in improving the teacher teaching
styles that later will benefits the students to learn better.
1.2

Background of Study

English is a compulsory subject in the Malaysian school curriculum. So for


many students, their reason for learning English is because they have to
(Nesamalar, Saratha, and Teh Soo Choon, 2000). It is important to
recognize that methods link thoughts and actions because teaching is not
entirely about one or the other.
As a teacher of language, you need to have thoughts about
the
subject matter, what language is, what culture is, and about
your students, who they are as learners and how it is they
learn (Larsen-Freeman, 2000).
Consequently, many teachers will have to shift their pedagogy of
memorization, repetition, and recitation of correct answers to develop
their students reasoning and communication skills by actively engaging
their students (Smith, 2001). In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education has
urged educators to implement Lesson Study among teachers, as it has
seen to be very successful in Japan and UK. Many educators in Malaysia
need to hold an integration program among teachers to make teaching
and learning successful. It is undeniable that teachers are focusing on

finishing the syllables especially in preparing the students in their


examination. As a consequence, teachers are focused on preparing for the
exams only without thinking on the consequences towards the students
future on using the language. They are bound to write reflection in their
lesson plan but most teachers never reflect it orally with their colleagues.
According to Cerbin and Kopp (2006), teachers may reflect on and
improve their practice in the teaching process with other teachers to help
the students. Steve Waterman (2011) in his data analysis on the
evaluation of the 2009-2010 lesson study projected reported that there is
a high satisfaction with the process, better research lesson designs, new
insights into teaching and changes in teaching strategies. Teachers with
education issues of teaching problems can have a significant impact on
the quality of education that they deliver to their students in the
classroom.

According to Nesamala, Saratha, and The Soo Choon (2000), lesson


plan is important because planning before the lesson gives the teacher the
opportunity to weigh the various options available and to make his choice
before the lesson is done in class. It is also allows teacher to think through
and get materials for the first category of work. Here, lesson plan act as a
route map. It serves as a reminder to the teacher of what sequence of
activities should be and what materials are needed for each phase. Early
planning also enables the teacher to get the software and hardware
necessary for implementing plan. With a well preparation, the teaching
and learning process will run smoothly as the objectives reached. They
also believe that lesson plan act as a record of work done. Although a
teacher may never repeat a lesson, the notes a teacher keeps of lessons
he has taught earlier help him to improve his performance as well as to
get insights into what words and what does not with the kinds of pupils he
has to teach.
1.3

Statement of Problems

It is very important for teachers to become aware of the thoughts that


guide their action in the classroom. According to Nafisah Mahmud (2010),

Malaysian teachers spend a considerable amount of time to devote to


educating the student teachers about planning a lesson. Many shared the
notion that learning to plan lessons in the methods courses was mainly for
the purpose of preparing and acquiring appropriate knowledge about
planning and how to go about planning. Yet, in the real world, a real
classroom is complex. She also stated that planning a lesson is difficult as
the classroom environment is far more complex to microteaching in the
method class. As well as being the place to put theory into practice, the
classroom also a place for the students teacher to learn the complexities
of the contexts, and thus to gain more knowledge and skills on how to plan
lessons.
Many teachers are lacking of motivation after been teaching for a
long period of seven to eight periods in a day. Therefore, the reaching
quality is decreasing, as teacher will recycle their teaching methods from
one class to another without concerning the level of students. When the
teaching methods are not suitable with the learners level, problem occurs
in which students could not understand or engage well with the lessons.
According to Lim Chap Sam (2006), lesson planning was not explicitly
implemented in many Malaysian schools due to time constraints and
teachers lack of understanding and awareness about the importance of
lesson plan.
Lack of collaboration among the English language teachers in the
school is the factor contributed to this problem, where the teachers tend
to use different strategies and activities without any attempt to use other
strategies. It would affect the students performance in English and might
as well to demotivate the students to learn. Another factor is the lack of
communication that can create misunderstanding of the responsibility and
workload. Therefore, the quality of teaching and the competency of
students are poor.
The growth of students development in learning process is
decreasing, as their results in semester examination did not improved. As
a consequence, each teacher developed an individual knowledge base for
teaching. Therefore, I introduced Lesson Study in my school to help the
students as well as the learners to get engage with the lesson better.

1.4

Rationale for the Study

The aim of this study is to identify the usefulness of Lesson Study


conducted by a group of English teachers towards the students
achievement in English language.
In order to assure that this study is worth to be explored, the researcher
delineates two questions related to the rationale of the study as follows:
a) How did I develop an interest in Lesson Study?
I have been exposed to Lesson Study since 2009, the year I was
posted to my school. However, it was not really implemented
because of the problem faced that not many options of English
teachers, that the school itself have to ask other subject teacher to
teach English. In 2011, our first lesson study was conducted but it
was divided into two categories, which are lower form English
teachers as one group and on the other hand, the upper form
English teachers. I was excited to do since it was our first timework
collaboratively as a team. The experience for me to study the lesson
and at the same time gained knowledge of observing the real
classroom teaching is an advantage. Based on the data collected, it
was concluded that lesson study gives positive impacts towards the
teachers performance in the classroom and also gives benefits to
the students to learn in a conducive and active environment. Since
then, it was not conducted again until this year (2014).
b) Why is the research worth doing?
Though many studies have been carried out and mostly reveal the
same

findings

that

students

performance/

achievements

is

increasing, I think that it is good to expose lesson study to the


practical teachers or novice teachers. In addition, since nowadays
everything is related to ICT, sometimes, going back to the
traditional ways of teaching is somewhat fun and can boost the
teachers motivation of teaching. The benefits of lesson study for
teachers are it becoming lifelong learners, where the experience

can be for-long to many years. Through lesson study, one can gain
insights from other teachers and schools. Teachers can become
more reflective with immediate feedback on lessons. This research
is worth doing because one can see self as a professional that can
institute change in the classroom and the larger community. In
lesson study, the ideas shared and opinion can make a good start to
think about school as whole instead of own class. In addition, lesson
study can be a tool to introduce new ideas to learn students
strength. Teachers, who adapt and adopt the lesson study, can
improve teaching and help them to be more creative in no time. For
students, the implementation of lesson study in classroom helps
them to be more student-centered. This could lead them to be more
independent in learning. Students also can learn to explain their
thought process in writing and verbally.
1.5

Aims/Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to evaluate on the usefulness of


Lesson Study towards students achievement in English language.
By considering the pre and post-test as intervention associated with the
students achievement, the researcher tend to look thoroughly over the
analysis of data collected thus conclude the evaluation of the study as
either Lesson Study does help students in their achievement in tests.
Henceforth, there are two aims that serve as the key point of this study as
follows:
1.

To explore the effectiveness of using Lesson Study as a


teaching techniques in order to expose the students with
different learning styles.

2.

To provide the teachers with the new teaching methods after


the implementation of Lesson Study.

1.6

Objectives of the Study

Prior to the aims of the study, which has been mentioned in previous
point, therefore the researcher generates three objectives for this study,
as follows:

1. To investigate all benefits that students would gain in conducting


Lesson Study in English language classroom.
2. To investigate how Lesson Study would help motivate students of
low proficiency by actively participating in the discussion of
teaching and learning process.
3. To identify the significant difference between the mean score of
before and after the implementation of Lesson Study.
1.7

Research Questions and Hypotheses

This study will attempt to answer the following questions. The first two
questions will be drawn from the quantitative component of study.
Correspondingly, the second one will be solicited from the qualitative part.

Research Questions
1. Is there any significant difference brought about the implementation
of Lesson Study in pre-achievement test and post achievement
test?
2.

What are the students perceptions of the Lesson Study being


conducted towards their learning process?

Research Hypotheses
To answer the questions of the study, it was hypothesized that:
1. H0 : There is no significant difference between the marks difference
of pre-achievement test and post achievement tests towards the
implementation of Lesson Study.
2. Ha : There is a significant difference in the effect size of both pre
and post achievement tests based on the series of task given during
the Lesson Plan conducted.

1.8

Significance of the Study

According to Peter Brunn (2011), many research teams underestimate the


critical role the lesson plays. He things that it should not happen as the
researchers team plays an important part in developing any studies,
mainly education.
Lesson study is important because it allows the teacher researchers
to focus what are most important-the students. When the lesson is
thoughtful and clearly laid out, teachers dont have to spend time revising
the content, getting new resources, and creating a structure for
instruction. In this study, it aim is to improve the quality of teaching and
learning experience that teachers provide to their students. Moreover,
teachers can develop new teaching strategy, as they will go to the cycle of
teaching and lesson study. When working in team, it helps to reduce the
teachers isolation. Teamwork and sharing ideas are ways to a teacher
therapy in dealing with students in school. Lesson study also allows
teachers to focus on helping students to learn. Students will participate in
the lesson actively and motivated to learn, as they show interest with the
new approach.
1.9
Limitation of the Study
Limitation of Time
The study will only take the period of maximum a month to complete the
proposal since the researcher has to abide the rule to submit the research
proposal at the end of the third month. Thus, the researcher has only able
to do interview close-ended questions to three students related to the
lesson study conducted in their classroom. Still, the data provided are rich
enough to provide sample evidence for the researcher to conclude the
study.
Limitation of Funding
This study is one of the requirements for the researcher to complete the
requirements for the course TK60404 Advance Curriculum Evaluation. So,
this study has no grant funding. Every budget needed to assure that the
study is on-going is fully supported by the researchers limited amount of
cash.

Limitation of Sample size


The samples are limited to 35 respondents of one of form four classes. The
respondents consist of mix-ability students. The researcher opted to do

mix-method study, which is perfectly fit the requirement to collect rich


data and evidence. Nevertheless, the small sample size employed does
not have the statistical support for the conclusive result therefore the
researcher drawn a qualitative data to strengthen the evidence of latter
gathered information. Three English teachers will also involve in this study.
However, the teachers will gather information from their class only since
that this study is focused more in students achievement through pre and
post-test.
1.10 Definition of Terms
1.10.1

Lesson Study

According to Wikipedia.org, Lesson Study is a teaching improvement


process, where it is a widespread professional development practice.
Working in a small group, teachers collaborate with one another, meeting
to discuss goals, to plan an actual classroom lesson, to observe how it
works in practice, then to revise and report on the results so that other
teachers can benefit from it.
Colderhead (1984:69) posits that lesson study is a vital though
often undervalued aspect of classroom teaching. It is in planning that
teachers translate syllabus guidelines, instructional expectations and their
own beliefs and ideologies of education into guidelines for action in the
classroom. Teacher planning is one of the key processes in teaching, and
how one thinks about planning will shape classroom interactions and
learning outcomes (John, 1994). Clark and Yinger (1987), view planning as
an everyday teaching problem that demands the application of a complex
network of knowledge and cognitive strategies.
Lewis (2002a), Fernandez (2002), and Yoshida (1999), define lesson
study as a teachers work collaboratively on a team, called teacher team or
planning team, to set goals for students learning. The collaboratively plan
a lesson that will contribute to the attainment of the goals. Yoshida
(2005a) explains that this form of professional development affords an
authentic classroom illustration of teaching and learning. He asserts, the
ultimate purpose of these activities is to yield new ideas about teaching
and learning based upon a better understanding of student thinking (p.5).
Meanwhile, Lewis (2002a) defines a lesson study as a process of

improvement

that

us

expected

to

produce

small,

incremental

improvements in teaching over long periods of time.


In this study, lesson plan is a strategy to improve planning of
teaching, whereby both teachers and students will get the benefits.
Students will sit for the tests before and after the lesson study is
conducted. Throughout the planning process, the teachers revisit the goals
of the lesson and prepared them into a new technique of teaching.

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