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CHAPTER I

1.1 Introduction
Colombia has begun a very important process of internationalization around the 90s where
more and more international tourists, companies and universities showed their interest in
Colombias human and natural resources. In response to this big force of economic, social and
cultural change known as globalization, Colombias Ministry of Education has devised some
strategies to embrace this phenomenon on the best way possible such as increasing Colombias
presence in relevant international organizations, including a global dimension in all academic
programs and in all institutions and the one that we care the most, mainstreaming foreign
language requirements into the curriculum in order to increase the learning of English as a
foreign language.

The awareness of the importance of learning a foreign language in todays public schools in
Colombia has been rising thanks to the National Bilingual project which started off in 2004,
fostering the learning of a foreign language from the basic grades up to the last grade of
schooling. However, even though some schools have implemented 8 hours a week of English in
their syllabi, instead of just 2 hours like it used to be, in most of them, schools are failing in
reaching students communicative purposes in L2.

Many students are finishing up their school years without being capable of, particularly,
speaking English effectively, due to several factors such as teachers centered classes, in which
poor pronunciation feedback is given and real or authentic scenarios for encouraging students
oral production are nonexistent. Classes are book centered mostly focused on grammar10

translation and listen-and-repeat drills that scarcely nourish their communicative skills and that
consequently barely motivate them to improve their speaking proficiency.

Owing to the weak strategies already mentioned, it is noticeable the insufficiency of


development of speaking ability which is pivotal when it comes to communicating in the target
language. Bearing this in mind, this research project may demonstrate how the use of semiauthentic and authentic materials or resources such as real newspapers, magazines,
advertisements, poetry, manuals, movies, TV shows, etc. which provide exposure with real-life
communication and authentic cultural information to the EFL students can help teachers
motivate students while developing speaking skills.

The research projects layout will be presented as follows. Firstly, the research problem with its
objectives and justification will be described; secondly, it will be given some background
studies that show what had been previously researched about the techniques that will be
proposed in this research project; next, the theoretical framework, is to be found which is the
conceptual endorsement of the research problem; later it will be given a description of the
chosen type of research, population and sample and the techniques used in the study; after that
the researchers proposal with its methodology description and its applicable workshops will be
detailed; and finally it will be presented the conclusion and recommendations.

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1.2 Justification
Currently more and more young professionals in Colombia are required to communicate in a
foreign language, in order to advance and succeed academically and financially in these
competitive times. It is universally acknowledged that English is the most widely spoken
language, so it seems imperative for most students to master it. For this reason, many schools
across the country have been working hard to make the adjustments to their curricula to comply
with it. This is the case of the target school of this research project Escuela Normal Superior del
Distrito Barranquilla (E.N.S.D.B), which is on the way to be a bilingual institution and whose
main goal is that its students can reach the B1 level of English according to the CEFR.
However, they have noticed that although reading and writing are very important in each and
every one of their classes, speaking and listening are being left behind for some reasons, and for
that these skills will be the focus of this work. Bearing this in mind, we will aim to create a
workshop that will help these 9th graders (since this research project took three years to
complete, the reader will notice that we speak about 9th, 10th and 11th grade throughout it)
achieve their aims to develop the speaking skill and in this way, they will develop the
communicative competence in the target language, which will help them thrive in any career
they choose to pursue.
As the Colombian Ministry of Education realized that just 1% of the 11th graders in public
schools reach the B1 level, it designed a project currently called Colombia Bilinge 2014-2018
whose main goal is for high school students in the Colombian territory to graduate with a B1
level of English. The E.N.S.D.B welcomes this plan and it is looking for strategies to improve
the way they teach the language to meet the government's goals, so in order to help the school
achieve this, we have decided to create a proposal with innovative activities that can keep
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students engaged while they become capable of understanding and sharing their thoughts,
knowledge, experiences and their culture orally through the English language.
As mentioned before, it is precisely orality that has been identified as the weak link in this
particular group of students at Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla, therefore
and as a complement to the current English as a foreign language classes, speaking has been
chosen to be reinforced in this project. The importance of speaking stems from the fact that in
everyday life, being able to converse is the most common way to demonstrate your knowledge
of a language or in the words of Douglas Brown the benchmark of successful language
acquisition is almost always the demonstration of an ability to accomplish pragmatic goals
through interactive discourse with other speakers of the language (Brown, 2000), so it is
evident that it is most EFL students main goal to master, but it could also be the most difficult
skill to achieve. Therefore, a good deal of time, knowledge, effort and support are needed to
create a quality proposal focused on this skill, fortunately we researchers are advanced Foreign
Language Teaching students, with a B2 English level according to the Common European
Framework of Reference of Languages, we observe on a continuous basis and offer pedagogical
support where this project will take place. We are also willing to invest our time and resources
on it as well; additionally, we have the support of the schools coordinator, the teacher and the
students.
Finally and besides the reasons detailed above, we consider that this research project will be of
great importance and helpfulness firstly, because before its completion, we will have a better
understanding of what it causes students to refrain from speaking in the target language.
Secondly, throughout the completion of the project, and working jointly with their teacher, we
will be able to guide students with our workshops to use the language orally. Thirdly and what
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we consider to be the most essential part, after the projects completion, this group will be able
to overcome the difficulties or barriers they may have and ultimately enhance their oral
response. Lastly, our findings, recommendations, failures, successes and the workshops
themselves hopefully can be used to improve speaking in other teaching contexts as well.

1.3 Hypothesis
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If the 11th graders from Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla used authentic and
semi-authentic audio-visuals as a motivational and pedagogical strategy, they could develop
their speaking skill to the fullest.

1.4 Variables

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1.4.1 Dependent variable


The use of authentic and semi-authentic audio-visuals as a motivational and pedagogical
strategy.
1.4.2 Independent variable
The development of oral production.

1.5 Research Problem

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The center of our research project is a 9th grade class with 23 students, males and females
between the ages of 15 and 17 at the Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla.
During the observation period, we have noticed the lack of speaking practice in class, which has
led to the lack of proficiency of the students when it comes to spoken English. We have
observed the classes and they follow the same pattern: the teacher is the center of the class, they
focus mostly on the grammar section of the English course book and they are used to translating
everything into Spanish along with the teacher. Listening exercises and extra material for
further practice are rarely present. Regarding the development of the speaking skill, we
observed that the teacher asked them to say some sentences using the grammatical feature just
learnt, but only a few were willing to do so, and it was very noticeable that these were always
the same few students who participated orally in all the classes while others showed little or no
interest in the topic, besides that, there was very little improvement when it came to
pronunciation. There were also some listen and repeat drills guided by a native speaker of the
language from the Peace Corps Group who did not have a formal pedagogical education, and
visited them occasionally, but evidently the target group did not feel very confident about using
the language and some repeated some words after the foreigner while others just remained quiet,
laughed or made fun of one another. These circumstances give as a result a wide use of the
language in the written form, but little use of the English language related to oracy.
During the observation period, we also realized that the Normal Superior del Distrito de
Barranquilla is privileged compared to other schools in the area, regarding resources such as
computers, overhead projectors and audio systems and they are in fact available for the English
classes and it is surprising that they are simply not being used.

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Based on these facts described before, we have decided to firstly, pinpoint the main causes of
the lack of speaking, secondly, create more attractive workshops for the students to fulfill the
aims of the course, taking a student centered approach and keeping in mind the resources
available at the school, and hopefully in the end teachers from the Normal Superior del Distrito
de Barranquilla can incorporate comfortably our workshops to their classes, the classroom can
become a friendlier environment for developing speaking skills and most importantly students
will be able to speak English according to their proficiency level.

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1.6 Research Question


How effective are authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual resources to develop speaking
skills in a group of 11th graders at Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla?

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1.7 Objectives
1.7.1 General Objective
To develop speaking skills in 11th graders at Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de
Barranquilla, through the use of authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual resources.
1.7.2 Specific Objectives

1. To identify and analyze students multiple intelligences in order to implement activities


that foster the speaking skill.
2. To create a student-centered class using authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual
resources that are suitable for their age, intelligence type, interests and proficiency level.
3. To foster speaking by implementing activities with authentic and semi-authentic
materials.
4. To implement a pedagogical proposal with authentic and semi-authentic class resources
to improve speaking skill

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CHAPTER II: REFERENCE FRAMEWORK

2.1 Background
For many years, foreign language teachers have been concerned about the reasons their students
have difficulties understanding real spoken English and being able to keep a conversation going,
using the appropriate grammar and a good range of vocabulary. For this reason, there is plenty
of research focused on developing speaking skills. Some of them, using authentic and semiauthentic audio-visual resources. These research studies were conducted by investigators who
saw the potential in authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual materials in the classroom, and
decided to take advantage of the wide availability of topics that often encourage students to use
the language rather than perceive it just as a subject. The engaging nature of audio-visuals to
keep students motivated no matter their age, most of them with successful results.

One of these studies was the one by Taher Bahrani, from the University of Malaya (Bahrani,
2011). The target community was a group of English as a foreign language students enrolled in
an eighth semester course to become English instructors and/or translators in Iran. The
researchers noticed that even though the students were at an intermediate level, they had
somewhat failed to develop their speaking proficiency and Bahrani attributed this failure to the
lack of exposure these students had to real English. In order to support this theory, they took 60
participants between males and females, out of a 200 student group coursing their third year of
the mentioned course, to conduct this study. The researchers used a part of an IELTS test to
measure the students speaking proficiency, before and after the research projects completion.
In addition to that, they kept a checklist with the scores the participants obtained from this test.

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Then, the investigators gathered authentic British and American English audio-visual materials
from different sources. The target audience was divided into two groups. They gave the number
one group of students varied newscasts taken from channels such as CNN and BBC; they had
the option to choose the topics they liked the most, and they were assigned various listening
comprehension tasks. The number two group received TV and radio programs including a
variety of soap operas, cartoons, documentaries, etc. but, no specific task to complete while
listening and watching. Throughout a one year period these groups were exposed to these
authentic materials for a total of 150 hours, combined with multiples three-hour a week guided
discussions for the first group, and non-guided discussions for the second group, with the
respective instructions about the content of the materials given.

When the year was up, students took the same IELTS speaking proficiency test to check for any
change in the speaking skill. The results showed a significant improvement when it came to
fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, communication, and accent only for the first group while
the second group only showed an improvement in the communication category. Despite the fact
that both groups were exposed to authentic materials for the same amount of time researchers
noticed that group one, was more successful because the topics presented were more interesting
to them and generated discussion, also it was easier for them to comprehend the news since they
spoke about current and international issues of common knowledge, and lastly they emulated a
neutral pace, accent and vocabulary of the anchors. The failure to improve speaking in group
two was attributed to the difficulty of the language that included too much slang, figurative
meanings and colloquialisms and various previously unknown contexts.

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Taking all of this into account, we became aware that when it comes to giving students an
intense exposure to authentic materials to successfully develop the speaking skill, it is
necessary to firstly, select an intermediate level group, secondly, carefully gather audio-visual
resources that may be of the participants interests, to some extent with a familiar context and
with a good paced and fluent language avoiding too many colloquialisms and thirdly make sure
to complement all of these with a guided instruction.

Some other successful research on the use of authentic audio-visual resources in the classroom
was done by primary school teachers at the Ching Chung Hau Po Woon Primary school in Hong
Kong (The Governement of Hong Kong- Educational Bureau, 2012) who realized that even
though pupils were studying English with different didactic materials, they still had difficulty
when communicating with a native speaker. In order to improve this situation they decided to
include authentic audio-visual aid in the curriculum. They chose authentic shows for North
American kids and played them for their students with subtitles in English. They made sure to
use short episodes, 35 minutes maximum, to be able to manage and take advantage of the
vocabulary input. They also kept in mind 3 basic principles when using authentic material. First,
the material had to be related to the topics they wanted to cover through the school year.
Second, they had to integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing and third they would
always include a phonetic component. They decided to keep teachers diaries and keep a record
of students and continuous performance.

When the process ended, the investigators collected information from students, and they found
out they were more motivated than before to watch North American shows at home. They were

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now also aware of the differences between the Hong Kong and the USA culture, and most
importantly they realized authentic audio-visual material had help the students build up
vocabulary and improve their listening skills. Furthermore, investigators collected information
from teachers. These ones noticed that the students were eager to learn the language, to
complete the English tasks related to the videos, and it had indeed improved their listening and
speaking skills over that year period.

One can conclude that in order to be successful when using authentic audio-visuals in the EFL
or ESL classroom, it is imperative to have a clear and established focus, by setting goals from
the beginning and the steps to get to those goal. The teachers were successful, on the one hand,
because they chose lengthy audio-visuals according to students attention span and their ability
to memorize vocabulary, and on the other hand, because they created their own principles
stating that first, the authentic resources had to be closely related to their curriculum, second
they searched for and adapted materials in order to integrate the four basic skills, listening,
speaking, reading and writing and third they made sure to work on phonetics.

Furthermore, a research study carried out by Castro and Navarro from the Universidad
Pedaggica Nacional de Colombia in 2010, aimed at developing speaking skills in first graders,
using songs as an authentic audio and video resource; set out to prove that songs, besides
motivating students and helping improve pronunciation throughout repetition, were helpful
when acquiring new vocabulary, learning about culture and eventually developing the oral skill.
(Castro & Navarro, 2014)

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The researchers chose the Nuevo Horizonte School located in Bogot, Colombia. An institution
that focuses mainly on the development of communication skills. In spite of being their main
goal and according to the researchers, the potential the primary school students had to speak
was being overshadowed by factors such as the lack of expertise by the teachers in charge, since
the ones who were actual English teachers, were destined to secondary school, besides English
was being taught only a couple of hours a week and furthermore students had no contact
whatsoever with the target language outside the school.

The investigators selected a sample of 18 first graders between the ages of six and seven to
participate in the study. Half of them belonged to the 1A group and the other half to the 1B
group. The initial step of the research project was to observe the target group during an
unspecified period of time to be able to identify the needs of the institution and this particular
group. The main issue they discovered was the lack of speaking in the L2 and after careful
consideration, they chose a set of particular children songs created for native English speakers
of around the same age, along with simple workshops most of them focused on TPR, were a
great adjustment for the students taking into account that they needed resources to keep them
engaged, motivated, with a wide variety of vocabulary, pronunciation practice and a resource
easily practiced at home. One of the workshops, included a song with a list of colors, the
researcher presented the song and as she sang she showed the correspondent color, and students
easily understood the connection between what was being said and what was being shown.

After having completed the workshops, the next stage of the research study Using Songs in Oral
Communication Development in English (Castro & Navarro, 2014) was to analyze their

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findings. Firstly, they divided their observations in strategies for effectively learning with songs
and Learning factors and their influence on production. Secondly, Castro and Navarro explain
that in terms of strategies, and in order to be successful on this task, students need a visual or
physical referent in order to better recall the vocabulary learnt; they came to the conclusion that
repetition was also a key aspect to be considered. In fact, repeating the vocabulary and grammar
structures, can be perceived as a scaffold for future conversations in the target language
especially for students ages 6 to 7; imitation was also witnessed, but this one proved to be
positive and negative: imitation worked very well when the students emulated the pronunciation
of the songs, but when students perceived that the right answers to the questions would get them
praise from the teachers, they quickly copied their classmates answers even if they did not
understand the question posed nor the answer. Another issue, in strategies for
effectively learning with songs, was the fact that the children pretended to understand the song,
not only to receive praise, but also because they simply liked the beat. Previous knowledge also
played an important role, some students already knew some of the vocabulary presented but
they pronounced it erroneously, and despite the researchers corrections they continued
pronouncing it wrong. It seemed to be a case of fossilized error.

There were four key factors on this research project, related to Learning Factors and their
influence on production: the first one, children's attention span: the researchers realized that if a
song was too long or had too many new words, they would get bored easily and start to show
signs of tiredness, so the songs used had to be short and upbeat. Second, they also learned that
children at this age should not be asked to perform two activities at once, for example coloring
and practicing pronunciation, since they can only focus on one thing at a time. Third, teachers

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encouragement was particularly important, the investigators got significantly better results when
they acknowledged their students attempts even though they were not perfect. And four,
motivation. This group of students got motivated by simple things such as the video camera the
teachers set in the classroom to record evidence. They wanted to perform better for the camera
and participate more in order to appear more often in the video.

As a conclusion, the researchers noted that even though students ages 6 to 7, did not speak using
medium or complex grammatical structures, they were able to use basic grammatical structures
to reply to questions about their names, ages, colors, numbers, etc. Furthermore, they stated that
in order to assure students interest in learning the language in the future, the focus of the
learning process should be to get them curious, excited, and make them feel self- confident
about speaking English.

All things considered, we learnt that authentic and semi-authentic materials can be used with
different age groups to develop orality but it is a matter of setting realistic goals and taking into
account the cognitive ages of the participants when it comes to selecting the resources, another
important aspect is knowing when to praise students, as in the previous study, it is crucial to be
attentive to whether the learners are submitting their own work or that of a classmate, and as
noted before, select resources of a length that go well with the students attention span.

Contrary to the authors mentioned above, Md Yunus, Nordin, Salehi, Hui Sun, and Amin Embi
from the University Kebangsaan Malaysia, recognize the importance of using new technologies
and authentic audio-visuals to teach ESL in the classroom, but they also believe that there are

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not enough studies showing the disadvantages of using ICT, including authentic audio and
video, and if teachers are not aware of the cons, and this could affect the learning process to the
point that students may end up not achieving the aims proposed (Md Yunus, Nordin, Salehi, Hui
Sun, & Amin Embi, 2013). Md Yunus, Nordin, Salehi, Hui Sun, and Amin Embi conducted a
study interviewing 23 secondary school teachers mainly in Malaysia, using semi-structured
interviews to examine teachers perceptions on pros and cons when using ICT with audio and
video in the classroom.
The teachers reported a great deal of advantages such as a rise in students motivation for the
language. Some teachers agreed that using these resources all the time was time consuming,
since they often had to move to an IT room and a 40-min weekly class was not enough to
constantly include this transition. Another teacher mentioned that using this kind of technology
would make his group of students so excited that they focused less on the tasks given, and more
on the video. An additional teacher surveyed mentioned that when using resources such as blogs
to assign homework with videos, students came up with many excuses, such as lack of internet
internet connection at home, just to get out of completing the homework left. Lastly, a teacher
reported that when using ICT to employ authentic resources effectively, the teacher has to be
tech competent in order to achieve the set goal. So as it was written before, implementing audiovisuals in the EFL classroom in some communities and in some cases can bring more harm than
good.

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2.2 Legal Framework

In Colombia the right to education is one of the most important aspects that has been evolving
and improving for many years. Accessing education has become not just a right but a public
service as in the Colombian constitution says: La educacin es un derecho de la persona y un
servicio pblico que tiene una funcin social, con ella se busca el acceso al conocimiento, a la
ciencia, a la tcnica y a los dems bienes y valores de la cultura. (Constitucin Politica de
Colombia, 1991). Education is the populations opportunity of growing intellectually, culturally,
morally and economically, for that reason education is considered as the core and foundation of
a thriving nation. Based on these facts, Colombias government in its constitution is expressed
the duty to ensure and guarantee the quality of education and its access to the young population:

Corresponde al Estado regular y ejercer la suprema inspeccin y


vigilancia de la educacin con el fin de velar por su calidad, por el
cumplimiento de sus fines y por la mejor formacin moral,
Intelectual y fsica de los educandos; garantizar el adecuado
cubrimiento del servicio y asegurar a los menores las condiciones
necesarias para su acceso y permanencia en el sistema educativo
(Constitucin Politica de Colombia, 1991).

Colombian families, the main society and the government are responsible for educating the
future citizens who will be taking care of this country. Education is obligatory between the ages
of 5 and 15 years old as it is said in the constitution: El Estado, la sociedad y la familia son
responsables de la educacin, que ser obligatoria entre los cinco y quince aos de edad y que
comprender como mnimo, un ao de preescolar y nueve de educacin bsica. (Constitucin
Politica de Colombia, 1991).

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The Colombian Government recognizes how important it is that Colombians have a good
knowledge of the English language in order to succeed in the global market, therefore, the
Government has created a program called Programa Nacional de Ingls, this programs specific
goals for 2019 are: For basic education and high school, the goal is teachers with an English
level B2 Vantage or Upper Intermediate according to the Common European Framework of
References for Languages which is a framework, published by the Council of Europe, which
describes language learners ability in terms of speaking, reading, listening and writing at six
reference levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 (see table 1), and students that reach a B1 level or
Threshold or Intermediate by 11th grade.
For Higher Education the goal is prospective English teachers with a B2+ or C1 Effective
Operational Proficiency or Advanced and students of other careers at least a B2 level. Lastly,
the aim for language institutes across the country is to be certified and accredited by 2019.
Enacting what it has been previously said, The Ministerio de Educacin Nacional (MEN) of this
country claims:
Metas especficas: Educacin Bsica y Media: Estudiantes de
grado 11 nivel intermedio (B1), profesores de Ingls: Nivel
Intermedio Alto (B2). Educacin Superior: Futuros Profesores de
Ingls: Intermedio Alto (B2+ o C1), Estudiantes Universitarios de
otras carreras: Nivel Intermedio (B2), Institutos de Idiomas
Registrados y acreditados. (Nacional, 2003)

In order to reach these goals, the Ministerio de Educacin Nacional has created basic standards
called Estndares Bsicos de Competencias en Lenguas Extranjeras: Ingls, these standards give
English teachers a guideline on what they should be teaching in all school grades. MEN also
adapted tests like the Saber according to the basic standards for basic education and the Saber
Pro for higher education according to the Common European Framework (B2 level), and plans

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to improve the English level in students and teachers through immersion programs, scholarships
and English language workshops.

Table 1. Common European Framework of References for Languages: Learning, Teaching,


Assessment, 1996. (Coe, 1996)

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The CEFR has become a vital element not only when assessing language proficiency but when
elaborating foreign language syllabus and curriculum guidelines and designing teaching and
learning materials. The latter one has always been one of the main problems in Colombias EFL
teaching (which is wrongly mostly focused on the learners grades rather than the skills that the
student should master); nevertheless, with the inclusion of the Common European Framework
of References for Languages: Learning, teaching and assessment, the English language teaching
in Colombia is effectively being imparted and has the following benefits:
A clear proficiency framework provides a context for learning that
can help learners to orient themselves and set goals. It is a basis for
individualizing learning, as for each learner there is an optimal
level at which they should be working. It allows teaching to focus
on the strengths and weaknesses which are helping or hindering
learners. It enables a shared understanding of levels, facilitating the
setting of realistic learning targets for a group, and relating
outcomes to what learners can do next successfully perform a
particular job, or pursue university studies using the language, and
so on. (coe, 2011)
Lastly, It can be said that being competent at a foreign language is pivotal in todays society,
therefore the Congress of Colombia created a law of education named: Ley General de la
Educacin o Ley 115, and in its Article 24 it states that one of the specific objectives of basic
education is La adquisicin de elementos de conversacin y de lectura al menos en una lengua
extranjera (Congreso de la Repblica de Colombia, 1994) or students being able to speak and
read minimum in one foreign language. This law also demands a similar objective from highschoolers: La comprensin y capacidad de expresarse en una lengua extranjera (Congreso de
la Repblica de Colombia, 1994), meaning they should be able to understand and speak in a
foreign language by the end of their school time.

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2.3 Theoretical Framework


In the present chapter of this research paper, the theoretical or conceptual elements of this
research problem such as: the affective filter, audio-visual materials, authentic versus semiauthentic materials, the comprehensible input hypothesis, non-authentic language versus
authentic language exposure, scaffolding, speaking and the student-centered approach including
the authors that have discussed and done research about these subject topics will be described
and analyzed.
2.3.1 The Affective Filter
One hypothesis theory given by Krashen which is strongly linked to the authentic materials
method to improve the foreign language teaching and learning process was named as the
affective filter. This one states that a student learns best when he or she is not enduring a lot of
stress (Krashen, Principles and practice in second language aquisition , 1982). The use of
authentic materials promotes a stress-free environment and increases the students motivation
and willingness to learn through activities such as games, listening to songs, reading interesting
stories, etc. making the learning process enjoyable.
2.3.2 Audio-visual materials
Authentic materials but in specific audio-visual materials have progressively been used by
teachers to enrich the classroom learning context. Ken Matsuta says that that using audio-visual
materials is beneficial for students' comprehension since it will prevent students especially
beginners from being frustrated about authentic materials. For instance, popular and traditional
songs will help us to create a non-threatening environment (Matsuta, n.d.).
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According to a survey by Chavez, pupils revel in using authentic materials since it allows them
to interact with the real language and its use (Chavez, 1988). Besides that, they do not consider
authentic situations or materials innately difficult. However, learners requests pedagogical
support particularly in listening situations and when reading literary texts such as the provision
of a full range of cues: auditory and visual including written language (Tamo, 2009).
Ultimately, authentic materials bring a great and intrinsic educational value. Due to its real-life
content, students would be informed about the current events in the world and at the same time
teachers would be accomplishing its commitment with the students education and general
development (Sanderson, 1999). In essence, authentic materials stimulate interactive learning
and fulfill the students actual communication needs.
2.3.3 Authentic versus semi-authentic materials
Many researchers seriously considered that the English language given in the classroom should
not be presented for instructional purposes but in an authentic way i.e. the foreign language
learning process must occur naturally as within the native speaking context where spontaneous
communication in English takes place. For example, through the usage of authentic materials
defined by Sanderson (Sanderson, 1999) as materials that we can use with the students in the
classroom and that have not been changed in any way for ESL students. that are commonly
used by English native speakers in their daily lives like magazine articles, newspaper reports,
TV commercials, films, radio talks, cooking recipes, brochures, among others (Hedge, 2000).
The non-exposure or lack of authentic materials and the foreign language itself (English) leads
the students to have great difficulties while communicating in the target language already learnt
at school in an English-speaking country as Mindt explains: As a result, learners who leave
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their school surroundings very often find it hard to adapt to the English used by native speakers.
Learners who communicate with native speakers constantly have to reshape their linguistic
behavior in those areas of the language which were not taught properly. (Mindt D. , 1996).
On the other hand, teachers have used modified authentic materials in order to incorporate them
into their ESL syllabus and make their students achieve their language goals in an easier and
more entertaining way. These materials were named semi-authentic which Haines defines as
authentic material which has been doctored either to exclude difficult language or to include
correct examples of specific language points (Haines, 1995). Adaptable authentic material is
crucial for lower English levels due to the great load of grammar and vocabulary that this type
of resource contains which may cause an overwhelming students response. Semi-authentic
materials can be adapted to be level-appropriate and make the content an accessible and useful
one to ESL learners. Finally, as Lansford, says the adaptation of authentic materials can be
advantageous when the level of the students is such that they might need a bridge to reality.
(Lansford, 2014)
In conclusion, authentic and semi-authentic materials became an essential tool to learn a foreign
language since they can be a pivotal factor of awakening students motivation by adding reallife elements and exposing them to the real language.

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2.3.4 Comprehensible input hypothesis


Traditionally, authentic materials have been mistakenly reserved for intermediate to advanced
levels. Contrary to what its believed to be level-appropriate, the usage of authentic material
slightly higher than the students current L2 level is remarkably essential to improve their
linguistic competences as stated in Krashens Comprehensible Input Hypothesis (Krashen,
1982). First of all, before going deeper into this theory is important to understand what
Comprehensible Input is. According to Curtain and Pesola, it is defined as Language that is
appropriate to the L2 learners capability (Curtain & Carol, 1988). Now, Krashen has always
supported language acquisition rather than grammatical sequencing (the latter commonly seen
as many of the teachers specialty) which occurs in a natural order while the learner receives L2
input one step beyond his/her current stage of language proficiency. Krashen refers to this as I +
1 (Krashen & Terrell, 1995).
Swaffar claims that the sooner the students are exposed to authentic language, the more
rapidly they will learn that comprehension is not a function of understanding every word, but
rather of developing strategies ..., strategies essential in both oral and written communication .
(Swaffar, 2014).
However, as Adams notes, "students at lower levels stand to gain at least as much by exposure
to well-selected authentic texts appropriate to their needs and abilities." (Adams, 1995)
Nevertheless, teachers should take into account the students level of knowledge at the moment
of implementing these materials in their classes, and give them guidance and support while
using them in order to overcome the obstacles that they may encounter in their learning process.

36

2.3.5 Non-authentic language versus authentic language exposure


Despite how important speaking in L2 learning is, many researchers agree that students present
difficulty when expressing orally, e.g., Fluent speech contains reduced forms, such as
contractions, vowel reduction, and elision, where learners do not get sufficient practice, use of
slang and idioms in speech since students tend to sound bookish, stress, rhythm,
intonation, lack of active vocabulary, lack of interaction pattern rules (Lazaraton, 2001).
Another cause of this problem is that students do not have many opportunities to listen to real
English, for example, when interacting with native speakers, watching English-speaking media,
and dealing with specialized vocabulary; instead, teachers concentrate on lectures, note-taking
and fill-in-the-gap exercises (Ferris & Tagg, 1996).
Professors rarely ask students to expound upon their own experience or opinions, rather to
analyze and synthesize assigned course readings (Ferris & Tagg, 1996) so there seems to be a
mismatch between the goals: students being able to speak the foreign language effectively, and
the syllabus: focusing mostly on grammar. So that, the natural communication tasks defined as
one where the focus of the student is on communicating an idea or opinion to someone rather
than on the language forms themselves (Burt, Dulay, & Krashen, 1982) is very difficult to
accomplish for students due to the lack of real world language input in which grammar content
is being presented.
EFL classes should include discussions resembling the ones in a real American classroom
(Ibid, 1996) or authentic language data which is wrongly believed to be found on language
textbooks, misconception upheld by Shrum and Glisan: Unfortunately, many language
textbooks contain poorly motivated and illogically sequenced texts and dialogues that do not
reflect real-world language or situations, although they usually contain multiple examples of the
37

grammar being presented. (Shrum & Glisan, 1994); And Mindt who has revealed that the use
of grammatical structures in textbooks differs considerably from the use of these structures in
authentic English (Mindt D. , 1996) after a comparative study of authentic language data and
textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language.

2.3.6 Scaffolding
In addition to what it was previously mentioned, it is essential to incorporate into the ESL
classroom instructional scaffolding to subdue the teachers role and foster the students-centered
approach which will contribute significantly positive to the apprentices learning process.
To this regard, Bruner refers to scaffolding as the steps taken to reduce the degrees of freedom
in carrying out some task so that the child can concentrate on the difficult skill she or he is in
the process of acquiring (Bruner, Learning the mother tongue, 1978) i.e. the teacher becomes a
mediator that enables and boots the students during their learning process in order to make them
move beyond their knowledge and current skills to complete specific tasks; providing a
supporting learning environment.
Implementing instructional scaffolding can bring several benefits such as: the increment of
Students motivation in the learning process obtaining as a result better school performance,
high students likelihood of reaching instructional goals, it guides and enables the development
of high-level cognitive skills, it promotes students engagement in meaningful discussions and it
encourages immersion in deep learning and discovery making them more responsible for their
learning process

38

The use of different types of scaffolds in an instructional setting helps the students to master the
content given by the teacher more efficiently. According to Alibali some of the most common
scaffoldings strategies are: examples, explanations, handouts, hints, prompts, concept and mind
maps, question stems, question and cue cards (which are really helpful for speaking activities),
among others. (Alibali, 2006).

2.3.7 Speaking
One of the fundamental and most important human skills is speaking; it is also considered the
most basic and relevant medium of expression. Oral language makes simple things possible,
such as introducing a person to another or more transcendental aspects like agreements between
countries. (Schmidt & Richards, 1980) It facilitates the way of asking questions, arguing,
making statements; it also enables human beings to participate in conversations, to criticize, to
explain in detail about a specific topic, in other words, to transmit or convey information.
On the other hand, it is essential to highlight the significance of working on the speaking skill in
the EFL classroom. Bruner acknowledges the importance of oral production by stating that
speaking is how people transmit what they have in their consciousness; it is how their intentions
can be known to others, what they want to be done on their behalf and how they identify with
others. (Bruner, 1978) The linguist Halliday, goes as far as saying that the aspects mentioned
above are not enough to express the innumerable social purposes of language oral and
written. (Halliday, 1973)

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2.3.8 Student-centered approach


Nonetheless, interaction cannot exist without the constant and reciprocal human intervention.
When learning a foreign language, oral production should take place inside and outside the
classroom. Thus, a student-centered language class is essential to develop and improve the
communicative skills that the students are expected to master in the real life.
A Student-centered learning approach is based on the philosophy that the students are at the
heart of the learning process, (Machemer, 2007) meaning that these ones are actively engaged in
the class, sharing and creating new knowledge together and having the teacher the role of
supporting and guiding self-regulated student learning rather than only transmitting knowledge
(Van Eekelen, Boshuizen, & Vermunt, 2005).
According to Collins and O'Brien, the Student Centered learning (SCL) approach techniques
such as: substituting active learning experiences for lectures, assigning open-ended problems
and problems requiring critical or creative thinking that cannot be solved by following text
examples, involving students in simulations and role plays, and using self-paced and/or
cooperative (team-based) learning. Properly implemented SCI can lead to increased motivation
to learn, greater retention of knowledge, deeper understanding, and more positive attitudes
towards the subject being taught. The latter allows the approach to boost in students oral
production which is roughly and scarcely worked in a teacher-centered environment (Collins &
O'brien, 2003).

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2.4 Conceptual Framework


2.4.1 Real English
When we talk about real English, we refer to authentic language which cannot only be found in
an English speaking country, but in the exposure to authentic audio-visual material used in the
natives daily life such as, newspaper, magazines, TV shows, etc. In the words of Seidlhofer
from the University of Vienna real English, which is taken to be the English used by native
speakers in their speech communities in e.g. the UK or the US (Seidlhofer, 2003).

.2.4.2 Skill
Skill has become synonym of the so called know-how, which is linked to being competent or to
have expertness at a certain ability that we have learned, or as the Common European
Framework for Languages puts it, it is the ability to carry out procedures and the general
competences of the individual learner/language user (COE, 1996). When it comes to language
learning, there are two types of skills which are intertwined and support one another: receptive
or passive skills: listening and reading both of which require input; and productive or active
skills: speaking and writing which require output.

2.4.3 Speaking
Speaking, according to Florez (Florez, 1999), is the process of constructing meaning actively
and spontaneously by receiving processing and producing data. Swain (Swain, 1985) describes
students production (written and oral) or output as the outcome of everything that students
have learned; Bygates, gives a more articulate definition by saying [Speaking] is the skill by
which they [students] are most frequently judged... It is the vehicle par excellence of social

41

solidarity, of social ranking, of professional advancement and of business (Bygate, 1987). In


short, oral production, output or speaking are the organized and planned utterances a language
user articulates mostly spontaneously, which are received by an audience of one or more
listeners.

2.4.4 Student-centered approach


When we mention student-centered approach, we refer to the process that starts with a lesson
plan that was carefully planned with students active participation and preferences in mind. It
involves a warming up activity where students get to express their previous knowledge about a
topic, followed by engaging input activities, completed individually and/or in groups to increase
cooperative learning, which later they have the opportunity to practice in communicative tasks
such as monologues, role plays and presentations and lastly they are given the opportunity to
assess the activities and resources used based on what their own personal outcome. As Laboard
puts it Learner centered classrooms place students at the center of classrooms organization and
respect their learning needs, strategies and styles (Laboard, 2003).

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK


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3.1 Type of Research


The action research approach is a methodology or a procedure that belongs to the socio critical
paradigm and it is considered a strong part of teaching development, since it provides the
teacher a lead to understand students and their relationship with the educational reality, to find
any weak links and to implement the necessary changes and improve their learning process
(Burns, 2003).
Although there is no universal definition for action research, several useful ones do exist. Here
are some of them: Miller (1999) states that action research is a natural part of teaching, where
students are being observed by the teacher and they can easily collect data, analyze them and
change any plans or strategies in order to improve their learning process. Reason and Bradbury
(Reason & Bradbury, 2001) describe action research as an approach that is used when designing
studies that seek both to inform and influence practice. Cohen, Morison and Manion (Cohen,
Manion, & Morrison, 2011) define it as a procedure designed to deal with a concrete problem
located in an immediate situation. This means that the step by step process is constantly being
monitored over different periods of time using questionnaires, diaries, interviews etc. in order to
turn that feedback into modifications, adjustments, necessary to improve the ongoing process.
The choice of this methodology will be of great benefit to this investigation, it will give us a
great set of advantages from the active performance required from teachers to opportunities
given to some continuous feedback; therefore, more opportunities to reach the set goals.

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3.2 Epistemological Approach


This research is conducted under the light and guidelines of the socio-critical paradigm. This
paradigm allows to explore the critical self-reflection of the phenomena in a detailed way since
education is much related to social phenomena. Socio-critical research takes the teaching
practice as the object of study which includes the observable behavior and the interpretation by
who are carrying out the research. We are aiming at challenging the current behaviors and
turning them into a different reality through the observation and self-reflection of the events
(Gonzalez, 2007). More specifically, this research involves the main components of the object
of study in a specific context of teaching learning English language. This research is being
conducted on the qualitative methodological research in order to understand spontaneous, social
and psychological processes that take place in the classroom. Qualitative research concerns
about the understanding of the human behavior in a specific frame, in which the interaction
between teachers and students occur. Thus, researchers may appreciate the phenomena and
understand them; therefore, it is important to design and implement various strategies which
permit the active participation of students in the learning process.
The path of the qualitative methodology research is discovery-oriented. It is inclined more to
the appreciation and critical reflection of discovery than quantification or verification, so we
may conclude it is inductive. For the qualitative research, the subject of study must be viewed as
a totality. Individuals are not taken as variables. They are taken as an aggregate. They are a
whole, the subject of study which obeys to the logic of the socio-critical paradigm of changing
situations in society. The qualitative researchers stay away from any partial or personal
appreciation about the subject of study or about any result. As researchers, we interpret and
analyze the results based on the data collection without biased opinions or beliefs. Researchers

44

value all perspectives, all people and scenarios are worth to be studied. It is Humanist.
Qualitative research values the people themselves in their structures, ideas or beliefs;
consequently, it is naturalist. In the qualitative research, the knowledge is sought through
different forms such as private or personal experiences, ever since the research started it was
obtained from the perceptions or conceptions of the subject or study; hence, it is open.
Qualitative researchers search for a very valid and reliable research by means of entirety
through detailed and profound analysis. (Nunan, 2005).

3.3 Population and sample

45

As mentioned earlier, the institution selected for this research study was Escuela Normal
Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla. It is a relatively big educational community with 92
teachers, 5 teachers who belong to school welfare, 8 people from Administrative staff, 8 more
people who perform general labor, 7 people from the board of directors, 305 students who take
the Formacin Complementaria, a course for students who want to become teachers, and finally
2628 students (from preschool through high school). At ENSDB, students are assigned to a
group, depending on their grades from kindergarten to 11th grade. Those grades are subdivided
into 5 classrooms named: A, B, C, D and E. The students from secondary and high school have
taken an English placement test as well, in order to place them in the corresponding levels. It
was agreed on selecting a group of 9th graders (year of selection: 2012) which is a combinations
of 9A, 9B and 9C. For this particular research, a sample of 23 students (13 girls and 10 boys
between 15 and 17 years old) was chosen to detect the main problem related to their English
speaking skill.

3.4 Contextual Framework

46

Macro: English learning has become an essential element of Latin American countries
economic development. Rather than considering it as a luxurious activity or hobby, it is today a
basic need in peoples lives in order to be competent enough in such a globalized world.
Nevertheless, low levels of English Proficiency have been found in this part of the world
according to the EF (Education First) EPI (English Proficiency Index) report given by
Education First nominating Latin America as the weakest region (what it refers to English
proficiency) of all the world. Due to this great concern, many countries of Latin America have
been working on turning their nations into bilingual ones by promoting, reinforcing and
improving the English language teaching especially in schools and universities.

Semi-micro: One of the countries that is remarkable for having advanced in its bilingual goal is
Colombia with its Bilingual Colombia program or programa Colombia Bilinge 20142018, introduced by its national government. Even though one of this projects objectives is to
reform and make emphasis on the introduction of foreign language classes in secondary and
elementary school, it has been a slow and difficult process especially to public schools
producing a general frustration as it was concluded in Valencia study:

Many students feel that success in English language learning is


only achieved outside the realm of the public school. The ideas that
teachers have about the possibility of learning English in public
school contexts are equally pessimistic. There are few resources
and difficult working conditions, and the way teachers position the
learners also has a direct effect on the attitude of the students;
however, teachers, such as those in this case study, do manage to
comply [with the policies] (Valencia, 2007)
Micro: We worked with students nowadays coursing 11th grade from a public school
named: Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla located at Calle 47 # 44-100

47

Barranquilla, Atlntico. They are between the ages of 14 and 16 and most of the students live
relatively far from the school and they are considered middle-class. The government gives to
the students from this school an education subsidy so that students can enroll without paying for
the annual registration. Due to this, each year the school receives new students, increasing its
population.
Its infrastructure is divided into three different buildings: one building for preschool and
primary section, the other one for high school section and finally, the third one for Formacin
Complementaria which is additional education to prepare students as teachers. Students have
their own library, in which they can read and look for any pedagogical material they need to.
They also have one well-equipped laboratory, one basketball court that also works as a football
field, three computer rooms with WIFI reception, one audio-visual room in which they can
watch movies or present things using a video beam and have conferences and last but not least,
they have an English laboratory, but it is not currently working. Having said this, we can affirm
that the students from this school have the resources they need in order to develop their
academic activities; however, talking about resources for the English class, we have to say that
they do not possess the necessary equipment to develop a complete English class. They have
just two sound recorders that have to be shared among the English teachers. This way, the
listening skills are barely worked at school. Besides that, because of the bilingual project in
which the school is involved, they have invested in an audio-visual classroom for the English
class. This classroom was used for a short period of time, and closed later because of different
problems. The principal of the school told people to have fixed the broken computers for a
couple of times but they are still damaged. Because of this, English teachers have not been able

48

to work their English classes through audio-visual sources. Even though they have a video beam
at school, they rarely use it.

3.5 Techniques and Instruments


3.5.1 Observation through video and audio recording:
Observation is another data collection instrument in qualitative research that fosters an
immersion and a rich and deep understanding of a phenomenon or behavior studied of certain
people from a specific population or setting. Observations provide researchers the foundation
for hypothesis development or theories that may be useful in future research projects. In the
present research, participant observation was used, that according to Fetterman "combines
participation in the lives of the people being studied with maintenance of a professional distance
that allows adequate observation and recording of data" (Fetterman, 1998) aiming that the
researcher is an active participant of the population observed without getting too much involved
with the people studied or interfering in their regular activities.
In this research projects observation process, the researchers were mainly collecting all the data
needed by making use of the field notes in order to jot down ideas or details of what it is been
observed (see page 54) in order to facilitate the observers memory of the session in the field.
This technique helped researchers to have a detailed, coherent and consistent description of
what was observed by them. During this observation stage, some of the aspects that are
important to highlight during this time about the population being observed are: the students had
great difficulties to communicate in the target language (English), the teacher had to make use
of L1 many times because students were not able to understand and they barely made use of

49

audio-visual resources (TV, computers, etc.) and authentic materials (videos, TV shows,
newspaper, podcast, etc.) and because of that students were not feeling that much motivated or
focused to study the language as they spend most of their times working on their textbooks. The
observation instrument allowed researchers to find the cause of the problems of their chosen
population and helped them discover their real needs.
Video and audio recordings have increasingly become some of the most useful tools of data
collection in Educational research due to its great and numerous advantages which provide a
more accurate and effective fieldwork. Researchers tend to skip important information while
doing note-taking during their observation stage, as (Rapley, 2007) said, "The actual process of
making detailed transcripts enables you to become familiar with what you are observing. You
have to listen/watch the recording again and again. ... Through this process you begin to notice
the interesting and often subtle ways that people interact. These are the taken-for-granted
features of people's talk and interaction that without recordings you would routinely fail to
notice, fail to remember, or be unable to record in sufficient detail by taking hand-written notes
as it happened.
However, technology brought a solution for such a problem with the invention of camcorders,
video cameras and smartphones that help record the interactions within the selected population
of a conducted research. Video recordings have been progressively being more used as primary
field materials which become data for particular research questions (Erickson, 1982) .Visual
data compared to recording data provides a more direct record of the actual events being
investigated than any of the other major forms of data collection used by social researchers"
(Knoblauch, Baer, Laurier, Petschke, & Schnettler, 2008) meaning that even though audio
accurately reports the intonation, the stress patterns and pronunciation of the words said, fails to
50

capture collective or individual actions, emotions, peoples facial expressions or gestures and
other non-verbal hints which are easily provided by a video recording. For such reasons, in the
present research the previously mentioned tools were chosen for collecting essential data that
after being interpreted and analyzed were pivotal not only to understand and detect students
difficulties and/or hindrance related to their speaking skill but also to record the students
development and improvement of such skill.

3.5.2 Survey
Survey is one of the most common types of data collection instrument in quantitative research,
which allows researchers to assess and identify the preferences, opinions and/ or attitudes of a
specific population about different items presented on a scale (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, &
Zechmeister , 2011). Surveys are administered to a selected sample taken from a large or small
population which is considered highly useful for researchers as (Campbell & Katona, 1953)
claimed: "It is this capacity for wide application and broad coverage which gives the survey
technique its great usefulness This one is standardized and can be presented as a written paperbased or online questionnaire and a face- to-face interview. In order to obtain information with
high-guaranteed response rate from a specific group of people, it is recommended to conduct a
group-administered questionnaire, in which the sample population to respond to a wellstructured sequence of open-ended multiple choice questions whose results can be easily
checked and averaged is asked.
In the present paper, a questionnaire was utilized to help to identify the target groups
motivation and their preferences related to methodology to learn English and it also helped us to
51

determine the type of resources (authentic and semi-authentic materials) that they wanted to use
to learn English and develop their weakest language skill which is speaking (see annex 5).

3.5.3 Howard Gardner multiple intelligences test.


American psychologist Howard Gardner pioneered the multiple intelligence theory that
established a new model to understand in a deeper way and teach many aspects of human
intelligence and learning styles that are currently used in psychology and education. Gardner
argues in his theory that students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn,
remember, perform, and understand in different ways," (Gardner, 1991) ; therefore according to
this statement, teachers should not assume that all students learn in the same way. Due to this
reason, he formulated a list of seven multiple intelligences which are: logical-mathematical
(reasoning and calculating) , linguistic (words and language), intrapersonal (self-awareness),
interpersonal (understanding and interacting with others), musical (sensitivity to music, rhythm
and sound) , bodily-kinesthetic and visual spatial; indicating not only peoples skills, but also
peoples way to learn and develop their strengths or weaknesses. Thus, teaching and assessing
could be done in different ways in order to provide more opportunities to the different kinds of
learners and improve their learning experiences.
Because of the previously said, Howard Gardner Multiple intelligences test was implemented in
this research (see annex 2) to determine the students most likely intelligence related to their
learning styles in which it was found that visual spatial is the most prominent intelligence
between the selected group of students, meaning that visual materials can contribute
significantly to improve the students performance, motivation and learning process in the ESL
classroom.
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3.6 Analysis of the data collected


3.6.1 Class observation
In order to collect systematic data from this classroom we decided to register in a journal
information we considered relevant related to the class topic, level of complexity, hours per
week, physical settings, level of proficiency of the students, and teacher-student interactions,
etc. as the English classes unfolded and throughout an extended period of time.

Transcript evidence 1. Class observation notebook transcript.

9TH GRADE STUDENTS


ESCUELA NORMAL SUPERIOR DEL DISTRITO DE BARRANQUILLA.
Throughout the time I was assigned to be with 9th grade students from E.N.S.D.B, a
well- known school because of its high academic level and its bilingual emphasis
(after the pedagogy); I could realize that they really have a huge wrong idea about
what a bilingual school is. At the beginning of this year, students were supposed to
have 10 hours of English but the government said that its too much for a public
school, so that, they just let 8 hours. Teachers were concerned during the following
months about this change. Probably people think that if they are studying English 4
days in the week (2 hours per day), they should be really good at it, but its
unbelievable to see almost all the students from 9 th grade how poor their levels of
English are. It seems like teachers dont have control or they don't want to follow up
accurately a program in which they can monitor the progress of their students. They
are not worried about the quality of English teaching either the type of methodology
that they are using for reaching the real goals that every single student must obtain
obviously with their help. Also its overwhelming to know that all English teachers
from this school have been receiving a refresher course and they are still using their
same methodologies as some students have told me.
I spent with the 9th grade students and their English teacher 36 hours of observation.
During that time they studied about 3 units from their English book, those are:
UNIT #1: Family life
Simple present
Adverbs and expressions
Present continuous
UNIT #2: My world
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Simple present and present continuous


Whose? Possessives and s possessive adjective
Count and no countable nouns.
UNIT #3: Sports
Verbs of emotions. Gerund Ing form
Imperative Must/ must not.
Be going to for future plans intentions and predictions
Methodology:
As I was explaining in the previously reports their English teacher has a
traditionalist methodology. She uses as her main source to teach, the English book,
so she doesnt bring any material different from the book either a tape recorder in
order to listen the activities written on the book .
She teaches grammar rules that are explained on the book, writing them on the
board and translating everything she says (including vocabulary) into Spanish. She
doesnt go deeper in her explanations, basically they are too simples for the level
that students should be. After each grammar explanation she writes on the board
some sentences or examples of real situations in which they must use those rules,
then she ask to her students if they understand, some of them say yes but, when they
start doing exercises about the topic they learnt a few minutes ago, many of them
get confused or they just do things wrongly. Sometimes she ask to her students to
create sentences orally about things that are related with their lives, some of them
try to do it but they are usually the same people who are really interested on the
class ( a few ones). Most of the time of the class is spent on doing exercises from
the book as I said before and when they finish she ask about the answers and then
she correct them when they are wrong.
She rarely teaches vocabulary using explanations in English most of them are
translations into their mother tongue. She hardly ever asks to her students about
doing role plays using the vocabulary taught in the class, for example I just saw one
role play in the classroom about professions and they were just asked to mime them,
so in that way other students could guess what they were performing about. The
English teacher often corrects students mistakes but in spite of that, they are still
having huge pronunciation mistakes. She never teaches them about slangs, common
expressions or about cultural aspects from the target language (English) either
simple phrases that are often used. Her tests are related to the grammar that has been
learnt in class. She never evaluates listening and once in a while speaking.
So, because of the factors mentioned before in this text and in the previously reports
we can say that these students are not learning English for real, just for the moment
in order to pass the subject. Theres no progress on their learning process and they
have seriously problems in their communicative skills and based on these

54

unfortunate facts, its necessary to change the Methodology and the conditions in
which students are learning this important language.
Researcher Scarleth Bula

3.6.2 Howard Gardners theory of Multiple Intelligences test


The Multiple Intelligences test by developmental psychologist Howard Gardner has been
controversial to say the least among his colleagues, but it has proven to be very useful to
schools policy makers when designing the curriculum; and to educators to better understand
their pupils individually and their classrooms as a whole. Mindy L. Kornhaber, an American
researcher explains why the Multiple Intelligence Test has been so successful among academics
particularly in the United States, he says the theory validates educators everyday experience:
students think and learn in many different ways. (Kornhaber, 2001) which means that Gardner
put into words what teachers have noticed all along, students learn in unique ways, and he has
been able to identify seven ways learners better acquire knowledge, and since we wanted to
identify how this particular set of students learned better it seemed pertinent to apply such test.

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Graphic 1. Results of the Multiple Intelligence Test applied to the students.


Students from 9th grade A, B and C classroom groups were asked to answer a survey of multiple
intelligences to find out which intelligence predominates in the classroom as a whole.
According to the results, a great amount of students have a spatial and visual intelligence which
means that these students learn things through materials that are attractive to the eye, for
example: flash cards, colorful images and objects, etc.
Linguistic intelligence was on the second place in the classroom, this means that some students
are good at learning vocabulary by heart, enjoy writing and reading and they can easily explain
concepts to others. The third most common type of intelligence in this group, is the
intrapersonal, this students are people who like to reflect on things meaning they are very
thoughtful people, they also prefer working alone and they are perfectionist. Lastly, the musical
intelligence, these students learn better through songs, they can easily identify sounds and they
learn lyrics of songs easily.

56

These results were helpful to understand and design materials that match the students needs
related to the way they wanted to learn the target language in their classroom. Taking into
account the final results of Gardners multiple intelligence test, all the activities implemented in
the proposed workshops of this research were created and adapted to fulfill the students
learning experiences and necessities e.g. there were used several audio-visual materials such as
videos, songs, articles to provide the students with enthralling but meaningful input which
helped and motivated them to use the language for communicative purposes.

3.6.3 Survey to the students about their own English learning process.
A survey was conducted to the selected group of 23 students involved in the present research
project at Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla in order to assess students
thoughts and believes when it comes to what their strengths, weaknesses, motivation and
preferences in methodology when learning English are. The following graphics show the results
obtained, followed by their interpretation.

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Graphic 2. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 1 how do you consider
your motivation to learn English? High, medium, low, very low.

According to the results, most of the students surveyed almost half of them feel highly
motivated (43.5%) and the other big group are half motivated (43.5%) to learn English in their
current classroom. This result does not agree with the students behaviors observed during
English class since they often seem distracted and even misbehave. In addition to that, there are
still a few students who have a low motivation (8.7%) and some others who are barely
interested in learning English (4.3%), which means that their behavior is not a lack of
motivation to learn English, but a lack of motivation to participate in the proposed activities in
class. Having obtained this information was essential to understand the main cause of the
students misbehavior, which is the type of activities given by the teacher that were not
noteworthy for them most of the times. Due to this, researchers found that this negative pattern
can be changed if activities were prepared taking into account the students interests and their
types of intelligences, in order to increase motivation.

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Graphic 3. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 2 how often do you feel
motivated to learn during the English class? Never, sometimes, often, always.
This chart depicts the target population level of motivation to learn in the English class showing
that 43, 5% of the classroom is frequently eager to learn the language in the class. Some others
are always motivated (17.4 % of the students) and finally 39.1% of them are sometimes
motivated to learn in their EFL classroom. Considering this information, and the one obtained
from the first question of this conducted survey, it is once again confirmed that a great number
of students are not demotivated to learn English; nevertheless, part of them misbehave and dont
show enthusiasm during the EFL class due to the lack of meaningful activities provided by the
teacher. For such reason, students motivation and behavior can improve significantly by
bringing more challenging and captivating highly- rich- content activities which may help them
to develop their oral production and some other communication skills. These ones will be
suggested and presented in the proposed workshops of this research.
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Graphic 4. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 3 which one do you think is
your main difficulty when speaking English? Vocabulary and pronunciation, fluency, grammar,
understanding.
The third question asks what the hardest aspect when they are talking in English is. 39,13% of
the students considered fluency as the most difficult aspect when speaking in English; other
30,4% of the class affirmed that vocabulary and pronunciation were a problem for them; on the
other hand 26,1% admitted that they have a hard time understanding and finally just 4,3% said
that they have difficulties in grammar. These results matched with the reality faced by the
researchers in the classroom; students greatest concerns: fluency, vocabulary, pronunciation
and understanding are the ones in which they have most difficulties when it comes to oral
production. During the early stages of this research, it was observed that students were most of
the times not able to understand the questions or oral activities given by the teacher (lack of
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scaffolding was detected) and they had a great deficiency in vocabulary and pronunciation
(vocabulary input and exposure to the real language was scarce), which did not let them produce
instantaneous and simultaneous messages as they could only say a few words (there was no
fluency in them). Because of that, researchers determined to implement the use of instructional
scaffolding for a better understanding of the instructions and things said in class, and introduce
real input through the usage of authentic input to enlarge their vocabulary and improve their
pronunciation thus, students may improve their fluency as well.

Graphic 5. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 4 which of the following
skills do you think is your main strength when speaking English? Vocabulary and
pronunciation, fluency, grammar, keeping a conversation going.

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This question inquired about the students strongest subskill when speaking in English. 56.5%
of them said that their strongest one is vocabulary and pronunciation showing some incongruity
with the previous question, in which 30, 43% admitted to have difficulties with this subskill.
Nevertheless 21.7% said that their strongest one is grammar; 13% affirmed that they are able to
keep a conversation and finally just 8.7% of them believe they are good at fluency. Students in
this question claimed that vocabulary and pronunciation subskills were their strongest areas
when it comes to oral production; however this statement is completely refuted by the fact that
students are roughly able to communicate, be understood or keep a conversation in the target
language as researchers observed during their EFL classes. On the other hand, they asserted that
grammar is also one of their strongest areas for some of them. Even though grammar is
extensively and tirelessly worked on the students, they were still presenting some serious
difficulties to form sentences grammatically correct interfering with the ultimate goal of
communication which is sending a clear and a non-misunderstood message. As it was
previously said, with this information, researchers decided to immerse the students in activities
with great quantities of real input that helped them enrich their vocabulary, improve their
pronunciation and present grammar inductively, so students could learn it in an easier and more
effective way.

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Graphic 6. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 5 which resources are
more often used in the classroom to teach the English language? Books and photocopies,
videos, images, markers and the board.
In the above chart, it was asked about the type of resources that are more frequently used in the
classroom when English is taught. As shown in the graphic, 100% of students agreed that books
and copies are the materials more used in the EFL class, which validates one more time the lack
of regular utilization of authentic materials in the learning and teaching of this foreign language.
With this information, researchers found a great overuse and lack of effectiveness of the nonauthentic material provided by their school (ESL books and worksheets) in the students main
target which is to communicate in L2. Thus, it was found a great necessity of including
materials that students may encounter in real life such as: documentaries, TV shows , newspaper
articles, advertisements, songs, etc., which significantly contribute in a very positive way their
foreign language learning process as well as in increasing their target languages lexicon. It was

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also affirmed that it is essential to include semi-authentic materials that match the students and
the school's program needs providing an ample variety of teaching resources to the English
class. This obtained information was helpful for the researchers in order to provide and create
the correct type of material needed by the students.

Graphic 7. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 6; are you aware of the
resources available inside and outside the classroom that could be used for the English learning
process? Yes, no.
This question asks if the students are knowledgeable about all the available resources that can
be found within the classroom and the school for English learning purposes. It was found that
the majority of pupils 65.2% are aware of these materials. On the other hand, 34.8% of them do
not have idea of their existence. The researchers concluded that even though many students are
aware of the existence of resources different from their textbooks that can be used in their
English class such as computers, DVDs, TV and a smartboard (which are audio-visual
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materials), these ones are scarcely or never used (in the case of the smartboard) in their English
class. Taking into account this information, as we are living in a technological era, it was
pivotal to incorporate these types of materials that are greatly used by the young generations
into their class and certainly design ESL activities in which they have to make use of them with
the aim of improving their English learning process. The researchers exploited these available
materials making them become the main part of the resources used in the workshops presented
at the end of this research.

Graphic 8. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 7 how do you consider the
use of the physical resources available inside and outside the classroom for the English
learning process? Bad, acceptable, good, excellent.

In the present graphic, it is shown how the usage of physical resources for English language
purposes from school is considered by the students. Most of them (60.9%) think that the use of

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those resources is good; however 34.8% believe that their utilization is just acceptable. Finally,
only one person (who represents 4.3% of the group) considered the use of the resources in
his/her English learning process as excellent. According to the researchers observation, there is
an inconsistency between the students answers with the reality lived by them, meaning that
these means are not fully exploited by the teacher and students as they claimed in their answer
to this part of the survey. The students spend most of their ESL learning time inside their
classroom and they rarely do outdoor English activities or go to their English Laboratory.
Because of that, researchers implemented ESL activities with different physical resources and
within the different spaces available at school to make the English learning experience a
different and enriching one.

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Graphic 9. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 8 speaking in positive
terms, how do you think the current use of the physical resources in the classroom and/or inside
the school affect your learning process of the English language? Strongly, notoriously,
scarcely, in no way.
The students also were asked to claim in what way the physical resources in their classroom and
school affect (positively speaking) their current English learning process, more than a half of
them (65.2%) assert that this influence is noticeable, 21.7% say that is strong; nevertheless 13%
of the students profess that such materials have an scarce impact in their learning process
affirming that the inclusion of frequent use of physical resources into their EFL syllabus may
significantly improve their foreign language learning experience. It is noticeable the great level
of awareness that students have related to the positive impact that these resources can have in
their ESL learning journey. Nevertheless, this means or materials are hardly ever used in their
English class. Taking into account the results obtained from the Howard Gardners multiple
intelligence test, the students needs and requests, the researchers agreed that the use of TVs and
computers (just to mention the main physical resources from the school) play an important role
in the students English learning process. Due to that fact, the workshops prepared for the
students are based on audio-visual activities which require these resources or means in order to
get a better learning experience that allows students to obtain what it is needed for them
communicate in the target language.

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Graphic 10. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 9 speaking in negative
terms, how do you think the current use of the physical resources in the classroom and/or inside
the school affect your learning process of the English language? Strongly, notoriously,
scarcely, in no way.

This questions aim was to assert in what way the physical resources in the classroom and
school affect (negatively speaking) the students current English learning process, 52.1% affirm
that these materials have a scarce negative effect in their EFL learning experience and 30.4%
claim that in no way these ones can have a negative impact. On the other hand, 17.4% believe
the resources may have a strong or noticeable detrimental influence in the already mentioned
process. In spite of that, great part of the students profess that more advantages than drawbacks
can be obtained from using these elements that will help them to enhance their English classes.
With this information and the one gathered in the previous question, it is once again affirmed
that students are aware of the lack of usage of these materials and spaces to learn and practice
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the foreign language taught at school and its great necessity of implementing these ones with
the aim of improving their ESL skills, but above all their speaking. The researchers who are
knowledgeable about the innumerable benefits of bringing audio-visual resources into the
classroom have decided to make them essential part of the resources used in the workshops
presented in this research.

Graphic 11. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 10 what kind of resources
would you prefer during your English language learning process? Images, audio, videos, books
and photocopies.
This question was intended to find out what kind of resources the students are interested in
using for their English learning process. More than half of them 56.5% chose videos as their
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most preferred resource to learn English. The latter one is followed by audios as the students
preferable resource (34.8%). And finally, the books and copies with only 8.7% were their least
likeable resource to use. As shown in the graphic, students are eager to have as learning tools
videos and audios, in other words: audio-visual resources. These results agree with the ones
obtained from the two previous questions from the survey and the ones obtained after applying
Howard Gardners multiple intelligence test, which highlighted the visual-spatial intelligence as
their more predominant one, meaning that the inclusion of visual material can significantly
improve their ESL learning process by making them learn and memorize more vocabulary and
grammar structures which ultimately will help them boost their oral production in L2. For this
reason, researchers considered integrating audio-visual materials or resources into the English
learning process by designing activities in their workshops which mainly encourage the
incorporation of these materials.

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Graphic 12. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 11 how would you
consider the use of audio-visual resources such as videos, songs, video clips, advertisement, etc.
for teaching English? Current, motivating and dynamic; obsolete, discouraging and
monotonous.
In the question above students were asked how they consider the use of audio-visual resources
such as videos, songs, advertisements etc. to teach English in their classrooms. Almost all the
students (95.7%) affirm that their usage would be current, motivating and dynamic; only one
student differed from that statement by saying that these kinds of materials are obsolete,
discouraging and monotonous. As it can be inferred from this result, audio-visual resources may
be the trigger that students need to encourage English learning inside and outside of the
classroom. This information actually matches with the answers got from earlier questions and
with the results of Howard Gardners multiple intelligences test in which researchers realized
the tremendous positive influence that these materials may have in the students ESL learning
process but in specifically in their oral production, due to the vast content of real life language
(vocabulary and structure) that they will be exposed, which will significantly help them in
reaching their final communicative purposes. Because of these benefits, researches have
incorporated audio-visual materials into their workshops prepared for this research that may
help develop their oral production and motivate them with current and entertaining content.

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Graphic 13. Results from the survey applied to the students. Question 12 from your point of
view, which do you think should be the audio-visual resources used for teaching English?
Authentic resources (real, in real context), dramatized and/or animated (unreal, in unreal
context)
In this last question, it was asked according to the students point of view what type of audiovisual resources should be used for English teaching purposes. The great majority 91.3% chose
authentic ones (in other words: real, in real context) and only 8.7% of them selected dramatized
and/or animated materials (in other words: unreal, in unreal context). With this information can
be inferred that most of the students realize the importance of the exposure of real English in
their classes. As it was seen during the observation stage of the present research, students were
seldom exposed to authentic materials (the ones used by native speakers in their daily lives, not
created or altered for teaching purposes to non-natives speakers); they were rather constantly
exposed to non-authentic resources such as English textbooks and workbooks that have scarce
real content of the language and make their class a monotonous one. Because of that, it was
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decided to make an intensive use of Authentic and semi-authentic resources (authentic material
modified to fulfill the students and teachers needs) in order to improve the students learning
experience and help them develop their speaking skill through certain workshops prepared by
the researchers that will be shown in this research.

3.6.4 Triangulation of instruments


We started observing and recording the English classes in 9th grade in a journal. During these
classroom observations, some difficulties in the students performance became evident. The
most noticeable one was the lack of speaking in L2. Despite that finding, we later applied an
English proficiency test that later corroborated our preliminary findings. So at that point, we
decided that it would be pertinent to make the developing of speaking the focus of this research.

3.7 Conclusion
The development of speaking skills in a group of eleven graders (our selected sample) at
Escuela Normal Superior Del Distrito de Barranquilla was chosen as the main target of our
research project after carrying out a meticulous study of this population through some data
collection techniques and instruments (observation through audio and video recording, a survey
and some tests) that helped us detect the students major weakness which turned out to be their
oral production.
As we continued to observe the classes, we noticed that the lessons were planned mostly with a
teacher-centered approach. The teacher provided all the knowledge from the grammar course
book while the students sat, passively taking notes and did not seem motivated. In order to find
out what strategies would work better in this particular group, we gave a multiple intelligence

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test based on Howard Garners theory. The outcome suggested that most of the students would
learn easier if images and audio were involved. Then as we continued to explore the school, we
realized that the school has multiple resources such as overhead projectors, TVs, computers,
etc. so keeping in mind all the previous information collected and aiming at involving the
learners more in their learning process, we worked on creating a survey to not only have more
accurate idea of the students preferences and triggers of motivation when it comes to learning
English, but also their opinion on the schools resources and the use of audio-visual materials.
After comparing the observation journal, the results from multiple intelligence test and the
survey completed by the students, audio-visual aids seemed suitable, so after much reading on
audio-visual material, we came across authentic and semi-authentic audiovisuals use and their
advantages in the classroom, such as keeping students engaged and developing speaking when
accompanied of guided instructions and exercises. It became evident that audio-visual aids
could help this particular group overcome their difficulties by keeping them interested and
motivated to speak thanks to the guided instruction.
We arrived at the conclusion, after having read different research papers on the use of authentic
audio-visual materials in the classroom, that in order to successfully introduce authentic aids in
the EFL classroom, it is necessary to take into account eight important aspects:
1. Teachers should know their population and select the authentic materials with learners in
mind. This includes their age, proficiency level, attention span, preferences and abilities.
2. Teachers ought to make sure the aids (authentic and semi-authentic materials) explore the
same topics as the ones specified in the current curriculum of the institution.

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3. It is important to complement the audio-visual resources with a worksheet, if real progress


is the goal, there has to be step by step guided instruction and support preferably using
scaffolding.
4. Teachers should reassure they know what they want to achieve with the lesson. As for
students, they need to acquire vocabulary, improve speaking skills and listening, develop
writing and reading, or integrate the four basic skills and create the worksheet accordingly.
5. Teachers should be ready to answer questions about the culture portrayed in the audiovisual resource.
6. It is recommended that teachers avoid colloquialisms and street jargon in the resources.
Reviewing the vocabulary prior to the class saves time and avoids students getting
frustrated for not understanding too many cultural components.
7. Teachers are expected the best but plan for the worse. Many technical problems may occur
regarding TVs, VCRs, OHP, computers, etc. so teachers can have a back-up plan.
8. Teacher should be aware that selecting the right material for a particular class is time
consuming; most teachers do not have sufficient free time to spend hours searching for the
right aid, so it is advisable to perceive authentic material as a complement to the current
school curriculum and not the chief activity.
So taking into account all of this information, we will aim to create student-centered classes,
involving their current curriculum with authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual resources,
using scaffolding to lay out the guides and keeping as a main goal the development of
speaking.

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CHAPTER IV PROPOSAL

Developing speaking skills through authentic and semi-authentic audio-visuals resources in


students from Escuela Normal Superior del Distrito de Barranquilla.

4.1 Title
Watch and listen to authentic materials, learn effectively!
4.2 Introduction
Technology has undoubtedly become indispensable in almost every aspect of our lives. It has
changed the way we stay connected to other people, reach information, read news, entertain,
work and live. Not surprisingly, it has quickly being introduced into the classroom; many
schools worldwide have been incorporating technology successfully to facilitate their students
information and help them achieve a more significant knowledge, so it is the case of nursing
schools with their ER model rooms, aviation schools and their simulation rooms, and of course
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the EFL classroom, where students have now access to English labs with computers, TVs,
tablets, Wi-Fi and OHP, which means teachers no longer have to limit themselves to a book, a
blackboard and an outdated cassette. Instead they can be open to the wide range of powerful
opportunities and advantages that technology brings into the EFL classrooms.
Colombia does not remain indifferent towards these changes. The government has recently been
investing in technology to introduce it into the classrooms and fortunately the E. N. S. D. B. has
a well-equipped lab room making the learning process of the different subjects much easier to
be taught. Unfortunately, while observing the English classes, we could notice two things. One
the lab room was not being used for English learning purposes and the other aspect that the
students were not very eager to participate orally, to speak in English to be exact. So, we
decided to give some tests and surveys to find out about the students multiple intelligences,
learning styles and preferences when studying English, and the results showed us that an
overwhelming majority likes learning English, that they prefer visual and audio aids when
learning it, but they are just not very confident to speak it in front of their teacher and
classmates due mostly to their little knowledge of pronunciation and vocabulary.
This way, we decided to take advantage of this information to design a pedagogical proposal for
the ENSDB students, focused on strengthening the much needed speaking skill using authentic
and semi-authentic audio-visual sources. Bearing this in mind, a series of workshops was
considered to attempt to overcome this pitfall. Throughout these workshops, we used the pre,
while and post listening or viewing stages to make sure students get the most out of each
activity, entertaining and age appropriate material to motivate them to participate actively,
activities rich in vocabulary and grammar to develop their orality and various cultural settings,
to give them a complete perspective of the English language.
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4.3 Justification
When teaching English as a foreign language at an A2 (Way stage) level as it is the case of E.
N. S. D. B.s 10th grade students, the main goal according to the Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages should be; firstly, that students be capable to catch the
main idea when they hear native and non-native speakers, deliver short messages related to
basic topics such as personal life, employment, shopping, secondly that they be capable to talk,
perhaps with memorized phrases, about familiar topics such as friends, hobbies, school and
family and lastly they should be able to handle very short social exchanges, all of this related to
spoken interaction (COE, 1996).
But very often, students are given little chance to practice speaking and listening, as English
textbooks mostly focus on grammar and their listening activities are based on non-authentic
recordings therefore it is common to find students struggling to reach an A2 level because they
are incapable of understanding the main idea of a simple announcement made by a native
speaker about an everyday topic, or either to elaborate a short oral response.
Therefore we consider it is necessary that students are in a constant contact with the authentic
language, so keeping in mind the results from their Multiple Intelligence test, the surveys and
the availability of the resources the school has, we have designed this proposal around the idea
that students should be given more opportunities in the classroom to watch authentic
commercials, sitcoms and videos, to listen to authentic and semi-authentic podcasts, songs and
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radio and to use the foreign language to interact with teachers, with their classmates and with
native speakers when possible, to complete the activities in the textbook and their current
teachers methodology and at the end have a positive impact on their English learning process.
4.4 Objectives
4.4.1 General objective

To develop students ability to communicate orally in a simple way with familiar topics
and activities such as holidays, food and entertainment.

4.4.2 Specific objectives


Pragmatic Objectives

To talk about plans, places, holidays, food preferences and friends and relationships.

To ask and answer questions related to plans, places, holidays, food preferences and
friends and relationships.
Linguistic Objectives

To identify key phonetic symbols and their pronunciation.

To talk about holidays, places and routines using the present simple and adjectives.

To describe peoples habits and personalities using the present simple, adverbs of
frequency, and adjectives.

To talk about food using countable and uncountable nouns.

To talk about relationships using the past simple.

To describe events using the present simple and the present progressive.
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To talk about plans and goals using the future tense.

4.5 Theoretical framework


Learning a second language can be exciting and productiveor
painful and useless. One's efforts can end in the acquisition of
native-like fluency or a stumbling repertoire of sentences soon
forgottenThe difference often lies in how one goes about
learning the new language and how a teacher goes about teaching it.
To be successful, a learner need not have a special inborn talent for
learning language. Learners and teachers simply need to "do it
right." (Burt, Dulay, & Krashen, 1982)
Basically, the process of second language acquisition relies on three important intertwined
factors: the students current needs, the students aptitude toward the learning process and the
teachers methodology used in class. Both of them (students and teachers) need to know what
their ultimate goal is: to communicate in the target language. Every school has the same goal: to
make their students reach a certain level of English (B1 according to the common European
Framework of Reference, 1996), forgetting about the real purpose of learning a foreign
language which is being capable of communicating any message and to be understood in the
target language as the CEFR states Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst
travelling in an area where the language is spoken (Examination, 2011). Teachers in these
contexts tend to depend only on the book, making a book-centered class where teachers
concentrate on lectures, note-taking, drills and fill-in-the-gap exercises (Ferris & Tagg, 1996)
and sometimes as a result a teacher-centered class rather than a student-centered one, in which
the interaction occurs permanently.
Even though, this is the twenty first century, teachers still bring their traditional methodology
into their classes using only their books as the unique work tool and the students learning
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source; this is affecting deeply todays students motivation and of course the learning process
itself. As consequence, students are receiving meaningless input (grammar structures and
vocabulary) which motivates them only to study for the moment and leads them to have very
poor English skills. Speaking in English in these types of schools becomes for the students a
difficult ability to obtain, due to the lack of opportunities to interact with real world language
input which has not been changed for English instruction purposes.
The non-exposure to real English through authentic materials has a deep effect on students oral
production at the moment of communicating in an English speaking context, the former is stated
by Mindt (Mindt D. , 1996) when he says: As a result, learners who leave their school
surroundings very often find it hard to adapt to the English used by native speakers. Learners
who communicate with native speakers constantly have to reshape their linguistic behavior in
those areas of the language which were not taught properly.
Nevertheless, it is not necessary to go abroad and live in an English speaking country in order to
get in contact with the real language. Teachers and students can find the real English by the
usage of authentic materials which have become lately one of the most significant pedagogical
sources used in the foreign language teaching. Authentic materials can be defined as any
material which has not been specifically produced for the purpose of language teaching.
(Nunan, 2005); these ones are commonly used by the native speakers community (e.g. United
States, in the case of English). Some examples of authentic materials are: magazine articles,
newspaper reports, TV commercials, films, radio talks, cooking recipes, brochures, among
others (Hedge, 2000). These materials bring the real-world language and situations into the
classrooms, boasting students motivation and fulfilling the learners real communication needs.
Some other arguments used in favor of the usage of authentic materials are: They provide
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authentic cultural information, they relate more closely to learners needs and interests, they
support a more creative approach to teaching and they provide a wide variety of text types,
language styles not easily found in conventional teaching materials and they support a more
creative approach to teaching (Kilickaya, 2014).
Furthermore, authentic materials but in specific audio-visual materials have progressively been
used by teachers to enrich the classroom learning context. Matsuta says that that using audiovisual materials aiding students' comprehension is beneficial since it will prevent students
especially beginning ones from being frustrated about authentic materials (Matsuta, n.d.).
As described before, it is suggested to implement audio-visual sources in the classroom due to
the rich and authentic input that would help students to increase their repertoire and improve
their listening and above all their speaking skills. The content provided by audio-visual
materials is appealing and interesting to the learners eyes, becoming a tool that should be used
as soon as possible in every single English classroom. When the students get engaged with
authentic materials, their natural language acquisition process can be immediately triggered and
thus the effective and real EFL education can be realized.

4.6 Methodology
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The use of audio-visual resources gives a strong positive input in languages teaching. Also, we
are very well aware about all the advantages that teaching in modern technology environment
will totally give more meaningfulness to the English language learning. Therefore, we chose
authentic audio-visual resources since it implies to grant students the opportunity of getting the
closest natural, real approach to the foreign language being learnt. Furthermore, using authentic
audio-visual resources gives students freedom to learn, because they can enjoy using them.
They will not feel disappointed, or pushed to work, they will work because they want to.
Teaching with authentic audio-visual resources will introduce students to a new classroom
environment, which will catch their attention to the fullest. Authentic audio-visual resources
were chosen due to their innovative and realistic environment that they provide to the students
fostering countless opportunities for them to talk about various topics. They will be able to
move on about their speaking, since different images, people, definitions, emotions, etc., will be
screened during the watching time.
Our methodology, of using authentic audio-visual resources, was structurally organized in a
logical, cognitive order that is demanded when learning any language. Eight workshops have
been designed with specific objectives aiming at improving the speaking skill in English. Each
one of the workshops will be carried out by watching and listening to authentic material taken
from resources which are quoted in the bibliography of this research. These contain three parts
that are properly set up with pre, while and post-viewing or listening exercises. When designing
the workshops, it was taken into account that the exercises must be understandable for our
students. We do not want our students to deviate their attention by trying to understand what
they need to do while doing the exercises; we are looking forward to giving the students clear

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directions in order to wholly and successfully complete the workshops; hence, we direct our
students before doing each exercise.
The structure and components our workshops were thoroughly created in the following way:
firstly, we decided to set a group of exercises that introduces the student to the contact with the
authentic audio-visual resources. These present the student the main vocabulary, mostly key
words and their meanings, either written or represented in images.
Secondly, in the while stage, we attempt to have the student obtain the most valuable
information from the videos. We used activities in which they could interpret the meaning of the
main vocabulary of the video, and therefore, have a clear idea and better understanding of what
they are watching. During the while-viewing time, our aim is that our students have entire
concentration so that they can be enough involved with the aim of learning and enjoying the
watching time to the fullest. We designed different types of exercises that demand total
attention from our students, for example comprehension questions that ask for specific
information, among others.
Thirdly, in the post-viewing phase/stage of our workshops, we long for our students to produce
the best they can, according to the grammar topic and vocabulary to be practiced. We are
looking forward to seeing great enthusiasm from the students and better oral results. In this last
stage of the workshop, they are supposed to concentrate on oral production, either in groups or
individually.
Accordingly, authentic audio-visual resources will be systematically used as the effective means
to create a connection between the student and the English language. Authentic audio-visual
resources will create an important bridge between their skills to learn a foreign language and
English. Through authentic videos, students will receive a clear and authentic language speech

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from native speakers which grants them a natural input of the language, which in is this
research, it is sought to be very effective by making English learning different, innovative and
fun.

4.7 Conceptual Framework


4.7.1 Audio-visual resources
An audio-visual is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as involving both seeing and
hearing, (Cambridge University Press, 2015) according to James Kinder audio-visual
resources are, in education, any device such as motion pictures, photographs, filmstrips, radio,
recordings, etc. which can be used to make the learning experience more concrete, more
realistic and more dynamic (Kinder & Dean, 1954). Carter Victor Good has a very interesting
definition of audio-visual aids, he says (they) are those aids which help in completing the
triangular process of learning that is motivation, classification and stimulation (Carter, 1945).

4.7.2 Authentic audio-visual resources


Now, an authentic audio-visual can be defined as a material that can be seen and/or heard, and
that it is intended for native speakers of the language and not for language learners or as Nunan
states, authentic material is any material which has not been specifically produced for the
purpose of language teaching (Nunan, 2005), in the words of Kilickaya authentic resources are
those that allow you to have an exposure to real language and use in its own community."
(Kilickaya, 2014)- These resources are known for representing an authentic environment,
presenting authentic language interaction, easily portraying cultural aspects and showing nonverbal components of the language, such as facial expressions, space language, etc., in other

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words, these resources are very rich in the so called real English (Nunan, 2005). Based on this,
one can conclude that authentic audio-visual resources include, but are not limited to songs, TV
shows, advertisement, movies, poetry podcasts, newscasts, documentaries, music videos, plays,
movie trailers, restaurant menus, etc.
4.7.3 Scaffolding
The term scaffolding was coined by Jerome Bruner in 1976, and it refers to the declining and
structured instruction a teacher provides to a student throughout a learning process until he or
she is ready to complete a determined task by him or herself, and in order to achieve a set goal.
As he puts it [Scaffolding] refers to the steps taken to reduce the degrees of freedom in
carrying out some task so that the child can concentrate on the difficult skill she is in the process
of acquiring (Bruner, 1978).

4.7.4 Semi-authentic audio-visual resources


In this thesis, when we mention semi-authentic audio-visuals we refer to those authentic
materials that we may have altered, edited, adapted or changed in any way (shortened, enlarged,
suppressed vocabulary, added vocabulary, made easier or more difficult) to better fit the
students needs. Authentic and semi-authentic audio-visual aids are used to expose students to
English in a natural context, exposing them to real people, and in some cases real situations
giving them a better understanding not only of the language, but also of the culture portrayed
(Council, 2015).

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4.8 WORKSHOPS
and teachers instructions.

Watch and listen to


authentic materials,
learn effectively!
SPEAKENGLISHBCR.WEBS.COM

By Scarleth C. Bula & Yaridis I. Cervantes


Universidad del Atlntico

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