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UNIVERZITA PARDUBICE FAKULTA FILOZOFICKÁ DIPLOMOVÁ PRÁCE 2011
UNIVERZITA PARDUBICE
FAKULTA FILOZOFICKÁ
DIPLOMOVÁ PRÁCE
2011
Radka Hanáková
University of Pardubice
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Material Teaching Aids in Teaching
English to Young Learners
Radka Hanáková
Thesis 2011
Acknowledgement:
I would like to thank to PaedDr. Monika Černá, Ph.D. who provided me with support
and valuable advice during the process of writing this thesis.
Abstract
This thesis deals with material teaching aids which can be used in teaching English to
young learners in primary schools. The theoretical part introduces the term ‘young
learners’ and describes basic characteristics of young learners. The thesis aims at
finding out what teaching aids may be used with young learners and how they
contribute to the development of their communication competency. The term
‘communication competency’ is explained in the theoretical part. The practical part
describes the research, its process and outcomes. The aim of the research was to find out
what teaching aids are used in the English classrooms, the frequency of their use, how
they are appreciated by the pupils and how they develop the communication
competency. The research gained qualitative and quantitative data which were analysed
statistically and interpretatively. Two teachers were involved in the research and the aim
was to find out how they can benefit from using particular teaching aids. The research
instruments were designed to gain the data for the purpose of this research. The
outcomes were described in connection with the overall aim of the thesis.
Key-words: English language teaching, young learners, communication competency,
material teaching aids, primary school
Abstrakt
Tato diplomová práce se zabývá materiálními didaktickými prostředky, které mohou být
použity při výuce angličtiny pro malé děti na 1. stupni základní školy. Teoretická část
představuje termín ‚malé děti‘ a popisuje jejich základní znaky . Cílem této diplomové
práce je zjistit, jaké didaktické prostředky mohou být použity pro malé děti a jak
přispívají k rozvoji jejich komunikativní kompetence. Termín ‚komunikativní
kompetence‘ je představen v teoretické části. Praktická část popisuje výzkum, jeho
průběh a výsledky. Cílem tohoto výzkumu bylo zjistit, jaké didaktické prostředky se
využívají v hodinách angličtiny, frekvence jejich použití, jak jsou hodnoceny žáky a jak
rozvíjejí komunikativní kompetenci. Výzkumem se získala kvalitativní a kvantitativní
data, která byla analyzována statisticky a interpretativně. Do tohoto výzkumu byly
zahrnuty dvě učitelky a cílem bylo zjistit, jak dokáží využít jednotlivé didaktické
prostředky. Pro účel tohoto výzkumy byly vytvořeny výzkumné nástroje na získávání
dat. Výsledky byly popsány v souvislosti s celkovým cílem této diplomové práce.
Klíčová slova: výuka anglického jazyka, malé děti, komunikativní kompetence,
materiální didaktické prostředky, 1. stupeň základní školy
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction_________________________________________
-1-
2. Communication Competency___________________________
-3-
3. Specific characteristics of a young language learner________
-4-
3.1. Who are young learners?
3.2. Beginning of school
3.3. Factors influencing children’s development
3.3.1. Physical development
3.3.2. Cognitive development
3.3.3. Social development
3.3.4. Does younger mean better?
-4-5-6-7-7-9-10-
4. Teaching aids________________________________________
-12-
4.1. Textbooks
4.2. Story books
4.3. Pictures and images
4.4. Computers, the internet, CD-ROMs
4.5. Interactive boards
4.6. Audio and video materials
4.7. Puppets
4.8. Dictionaries
-14-18-20-23-27-28-33-35-
5. Conclusion of the theoretical part_______________________
-36-
6. Research____________________________________________
-37-
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Research aim and questions
6.3. Research Methods
6.4. Research instruments
6.5. Background information
6.5.1. The school
6.5.2. School Education Programme
6.5.3. Teachers
6.5.4. Classrooms
6.5.5. Learners
6.6. Research time plan
6.7. Research procedure
6.7.1. Observation
6.7.1.1. Basic information
6.7.1.2. Outcomes
6.7.1.3. Conclusion
6.7.2. Questionnaire for the teachers
-37-37-38-39-40-40-42-43-44-45-46-47-47-47-48-57-58-
6.7.2.1. Basic information
6.7.2.2. Outcomes
6.7.2.3. Conclusion
6.7.3. Questionnaire for pupils
6.7.3.1. Basic information
6.7.3.2. Outcomes
6.7.3.3. Conclusion
6.7.4. Personal diary
6.8. Conclusion of the practical part
-58-59-63-63-63-64-66-67-67-
7. Conclusion__________________________________________
-68-
8. Resumé_____________________________________________
-69-
9. Bibliography_________________________________________
10. Appendix___________________________________________
1. Introduction
We live in the time when the world is changing fast. People have more chances to
meet new people, new countries and traditions thanks to a higher possibility of
travelling and the demand for learning a foreign language is increasing. English is a
wide-spread language which is spoken all over the world and the world governments
have to respond to this situation. The result is the introduction of the English language
in primary schools which has a lot of advantages in the future children’s language
development.
Brewster, Ellis and Girard come up with the summary of a current status of the
English language. “The world seems to be shrinking very rapidly as international
barriers break down and people can more easily come into contact with other cultures
and languages through travel, communication or new technology” (2002, p.1). And they
also add that “there is a growing trend for using English as a world language. This has
led to the introduction of English language learning by many children in many countries
all over the world and to a trend – the lowering of the age at which children learn a
foreign language” (2002, p.1).
In the Czech Republic there is a document The National Plan of Teaching Foreign
Languages published by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and passed by the
government of the Czech Republic on 21st December 2005. The aim of the National
Plan of teaching Foreign Languages is to create appropriate conditions to heighten
language knowledge and communicative competency of people of the Czech Republic
in foreign languages, so that people could understand and communicate in foreign
languages. This document says that knowing a foreign language helps us to be more
open to other cultures and opinions. This is in accordance with another document valid
in the Czech Republic – Framework Education Programme for Elementary Education.
The Programme says that “The mastery of foreign languages helps reduce language
barriers and thus increase the individual’s mobility both in his/her personal life and in
his/her further study and future career path. It makes it possible for the pupil to learn
about the differences in the lifestyles of people in other countries and their different
cultural traditions. Moreover, it promotes an awareness of the importance of mutual
1
international understanding and tolerance and creates the conditions for the cooperation
of schools on international projects” (FED 2007, p.18).
According to both these programmes English is the first foreign language taught in
Czech schools. English is obligatory to be taught from 3rd year of elementary education.
But in the Czech Republic there is a growing trend to start teaching English much
earlier – either from 1st year of elementary education or even in the kindergarten. This is
up to schools how they organize their English teaching programmes. Most schools make
effort to meet current needs and also they are the parents who play an important role –
they know how important the language knowledge is and they are interested in teaching
English to their children at a very early age. The National Plan responds to
recommendations of European Committee and their Action Plan for years 2004-2006
(Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity, 2005). The European
Committee appealed member states to provide the beginning of early foreign language
learning at a very early age (Hanušová, Najvar, 2007, p.42).
At the end of their elementary education pupils should attain the Level A2 according
to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (FED 2007, p.18).
Advantages of language education at an early age are shown only when young
learners are educated by qualified teachers. Suitable teaching aids, instruments and
materials are necessary conditions for efficient language education. S. Phillips
comments on this and says that “English is often taught by non-native speakers.
Although they are trained primary teachers, they may not be trained language teachers
or on the other hand, there are more and more private language schools that provide
classes for young learners. Their teachers are often native speakers who have not had
specific training in teaching children” (1993, p.3).
Little children learn the cultural property of their nation and as they start to learn to
be aware of other cultures, they start to be more open to and interested in other people.
The primary language education forms key attitudes to languages and cultures and
creates the grounding for lifelong language education. Early classes are not understood
as classical language education but they serve as a preparation for its adoption. It means
providing an opportunity to look into other cultures and motivating children to learn a
foreign language.
2
Teaching English to young learners and very young learners is becoming a trend in
the Czech Republic. The reasons are high potential for mechanical memory of little
children, their curiousness and playfulness. They are spontaneous, they do not have any
barriers while imitating and when educational activities are enjoyable, children’s skills
develop and they learn naturally. Teaching young learners requires qualified teachers.
They have to know characteristics of this age group, they have to be prepared for a
different teaching style and they have to use different teaching aids and materials which
can develop communication competency.
2. Communication competency
The process of education is described in an important document which is valid in the
Czech Republic and it is the Framework Education Programme for Elementary
Education. This document has been valid since 2007 and all elementary schools have to
teach in accordance with it. This document says that “the purpose and aim of education
are to equip all pupils with a set of key competencies on the level which is attainable for
them and thus to prepare them for their further education and their participation in
society. The acquisition of key competencies is a long-term and complicated process,
which begins with preschool education, continues during elementary and secondary
education and is gradually refined in subsequent life” (FED, 2007, p.11). The term Key
Competency is based on National Programme for the Development of Education in the
Czech Republic – White Paper (2001). It is a strategic document of the Ministry of
Education and it introduces and uses this term. The term competency is explicitly
preferred to any other terms (skills, ability or qualification) with regard to the
compatibility of terms in the international, especially European standard and also
because it is the only term from established terms which covers all terms as knowledge,
skills, abilities and values (Veteška, Tureckiová 2008, p.71).
In the Framework Education Programme key competencies are described as “a set of
knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and values which are important for the personal
development of an individual and for the individual’s participation in society and the
entire education content and all the activities taking place at school must be aimed at
and contribute to forming and developing these competencies” (FEP 2007, p.11).
3
This programme presents six competencies – Learning Competency, ProblemSolving Competency, Communication Competency, Social and Personal Competency,
Civic Competency, Professional Competency.
The main aim of English language teaching is development of a communication
competency which says what the pupils should be equipped by at the end of their
elementary education. This is described in the Framework Education Programme and in
terms of communication competency it states that: an elementary-school graduate:
-
-
formulates and expresses his/her ideas and opinions in a logical sequence,
expresses himself/herself pertinently, coherently and in a cultivated manner
in both oral expression and writing
listens to other people’s utterances, understands them and responds to them
adequately, participates effectively in discussions, defends his/her opinion
and argues appropriately
understands various types of texts and records, graphic materials, commonly
used gestures, sounds and other information and communication means,
reflects on them, reacts to them and uses them creatively for his/her
development and active engagement in social events
uses information and communication means and technologies for quality,
effective communication with the surrounding world
uses his/her acquired communication skills to form relations necessary for
full-fledged coexistence and quality cooperation with others
(FEP 2007, p.12)
3. Specific characteristics of a young language learner
Teachers who are supposed to teach young learners have to be aware of specific
characteristics which they should take into account when preparing for teaching them.
They have to distinguish between teenage learners and young learners because they are
completely different age groups and every group has its specifications. In the Czech
Republic it is not unusual that English teachers in primary schools teach teenage
learners as well as young learners. And they have to know how to teach young learners.
3.1. Who are young learners?
S. Phillips describes young learners as children from the first year of formal
schooling - five or six years old (in the Czech Republic it is six or seven years old) to
4
eleven or twelve years of age (1993, p.3). This mostly corresponds with the first five
classes of primary school in the Czech Republic. She also adds that the age is not the
most important aspect the teacher should consider but it is more about how mature the
children are. “There are many factors that influence children’s maturity: for example,
their culture, their environment (city or rural), their sex, the expectations of their peers
and parents” (1993, p.3). M. Vágnerová confirms this and adds that children receive
their parents’ attitude towards school and education and it can influence children’s
motivation towards school work (2000, p.141). It is a very important period in a child’s
life for many reasons.
3.2. Beginning of school
In the Czech Republic when children are six years old, they start to attend the first
year of primary school. When there are some problems in child’s development, for
example the child is not enough socially, physically or mentally mature, their parents
are suggested to let the child stay in the kindergarten one more year and start school one
year later. But this is only a small number in the total number of children starting school
at the age of six.
Z. Helus presents what school readiness includes: to concentrate learners’ attention,
to adapt the lessons and co-existence with other learners and the teacher, to be able to
draw, write with teacher’s help, to follow the others’ speech, to think logically, to
understand the sense of specific restrictions and stress connected with school
(restrictions in movements, not to speak, follow the lesson carefully), to understand
their duties and try to fulfil them, to control their emotions, to cooperate with other
children (2004, p.205, 206).
It is the time when “the learner is a child who becomes a subject of education. But
when he/she becomes a learner, he/she does not stop to be a child and in this new role
there starts an important period of children’s life way which often influences conditions
of their future independent development” (Lukášová, 2010, p.43). This opinion is also
supported by Scott and Ytreberg who conclude that this life period “covers some of the
most vital years in a child’s development. All education, including learning a foreign
language, should contribute positively to that development” (1990, p.1).
5
The first years of primary school are a new period in children’s life. It is a big step
and change for the children. It is an important pass between the kindergarten and
primary school. “It could be a cheerful experience which will start the period of
expectations of something great, important and entirely new in the child’s life”
(Lukášová, 2010, p.43). P. Říčan agrees with these facts that it is a period which means
a radical life change and that the beginning of education determines the character of
following years more than anything else. The school means a change from games to
school work and duties. But on the other hand, compared to the previous life period and
the following one, this time is quite calm and happy (2004, p.145). M. Vágnerová
concludes this and confirms that it is a time which brings a child higher social prestige
but also higher requirements and emphasis on their observance (2000, p.134). She also
adds that the time of beginning the school was not set randomly. At the age of six to
seven there are different developmental changes which are conditioned with maturing
and learning (2000, p.136).
According to all these authors it is a very important life period and the beginning of
forming children’s attitudes towards duties, education, teachers and the school itself and
so teachers’ awareness of all these facts plays a crucial part of their teaching young
learners. Teachers have to know what changes proceed in children’s body and mind.
They are physical as well as mental changes and also changes in their social behaviour.
It is evident that the teacher has to have a professional knowledge and approach to
the educational process because in these early years he/she can influence the child’s
development very positively but on the other hand as H. Lukášová states unprofessional
teaching can lead to the beginning of children’s illnesses, it can hamper or stop their
development is some areas (2010, p.45). “They have many years of learning ahead of
them and they will have enough hurdles to jump later on and if their first experience of
English is pleasurable, they will have a positive attitude towards it for the rest of their
lives” (Reilly,Ward, 1997, p.14).
3.3. Factors influencing children’s development
There are certain factors that influence children’s development. As S. Phillips says
these factors can be more important than the age itself and she states how important the
6
years at primary school are in the children’s intellectual, physical, emotional and social
development. They go through a series of stages, progressively acquiring skills that are
thought necessary by the society they live in (1993, p.3).
3.3.1. Physical development
P. Říčan gives us basic data about the physical development of young learners. The
average boy grows from 117 to 145cm in the period between 6 and 11 years of age. An
eleven-year-old girl is about one centimetre taller than the boy. The weight of the boy
goes from 22 to 37 kilos and the girl weighs half a kilo more. The child has the second
set of teeth which means a change in the position of jaw-bones and the shape of a lower
part of the face. There is also a change in the shape of lips. The brain still grows in this
life period but at about the age of 10 its growing is much slower. It is now nearly
completely developed but the development of cell connections will continue until the
age of about 21 (2004, p.146).
Capacity of children’s organism is incredible if we consider that the children are still
in movement but in this period they cannot work with their power. They exhaust
themselves very quickly but compared to adults they can gain new power very quickly
(Říčan, 2004, p.146, 147).
Movements start to be skilful – they can skip, ride a bike, throw the ball better.
These new skills and higher achievement make children feel very happy and it is
because they are aware of their improvement. This physical power and skills also decide
about especially boys’ status in the group. Small and weak ones can become outsiders
because the influence of adults is now much smaller than in the pre-school period and
the children have to rely only on themselves (2004, p.147).
The fine motor activity is not exact yet and it is because the coordination between
eyes and movements of fingers is formed. This can cause some problems in writing in
the first years of school (2004, p.148).
3.3.2. Cognitive development
7
Children start to think in a different way than before. There are some changes in their
thinking which help to manage subject matter. On the other hand their mental powers
are still developing (Vágnerová, 2000, p.148).
J. Piaget calls this way of thinking the period of concrete logical operations and he
adds that “it is necessary to wait until the child is seven or eight years old and he starts
to create operations (2010, p.85). M. Vágnerová explains this as thinking which
operates with the reality or ideas/symbols which have a clear, concrete content. The
children rely on their own experience in working with different things and contacts with
other people. And as she concludes it is important to give support to the teachers’ lesson
with visual aids and a possibility to check the explanations on a concrete example
(2000, p.149).
There are more different criteria for concrete logical operations: conservation – the
child is able to understand permanency of substance of a particular object although its
outer features change (Vágnerová, 2000, p.150). Piaget gives an example of pouring
liquid. Children of this age now understand that if the liquid is poured from a glass A to
a narrower glass B or to a wider glass C, it is still the same amount of liquid. It means
children learn about the term conservation derived from pre-operational reactions (2010,
p.90). He describes concrete operations as the form of a transition between actions and
more general logical structures. These structures can be sorting, ordering. Grouping is a
specific feature of these structures and it consists in creating gradual links which consist
of unification of direct operations (2010, p.92). It means that the children are now able
to sort or order some objects according to a key and it is not a random choice.
Children’s ability to use concrete logical operations influences positively the
understanding of the time. They can order events and they understand the term earlier
and later. The children know that there exists a calendar, that seasons and days of the
week change, they create a map of individually important events. They start to learn the
time and use it for their time estimation (Vágnerová, 2000, p.153).
Logical operations are developed by learning and school teaching addresses the
understanding of connections and relations. It means that logical thinking is developed
at school. The strategy of thinking is also developed at school. It means the approach to
problem solving. The strategy of thinking can be characterized as searching a way how
to do it. School children can concentrate on details and their mutual relations. They are
8
able to get necessary information which is needed to solve the task. They can repeat
necessary information and they fix knowledge which can be useful for problem solving.
School children learn strategies and to use them in a more suitable way. Three ways can
be mentioned at this age: learning by a trial and error which is usually spontaneous, the
children find the solution by chance and they will remember it. The second way is a
logical derivation on the basis of previous experience and the last one is learning by
copying when the child copies the solution which the other children used successfully
(Vágnerová, 2000, p. 156, 157).
3.3.3. Social development
Social development is influenced by social groups which the children are in. This is
the age when social requests of the school are more important and it is necessary to
orientate in this new environment and to acquire desirable way to behave. The role of
peers is important but it is still the age when adults are more important (Vágnerová,
2000, p.159).
The child gets the role of a school-boy which includes two partial roles – the role of
a pupil and the role of a classmate. The role of a pupil is given by the school rules and it
is always a subordinate role. The society creates a norm of a pupil and when the child
behaves in accordance with this norm it is rewarded. On the other hand when the child
does something different it is rewarded negatively. This is the way how the school
influences another development of a child’s personality. The way how the child will
master the role of a classmate will influence his future strategies of behaviour and
informal social relations (Vágnerová, 2000, p.160).
When the children are in the first class they behave as a herd which follows the
leader and when they do not have him they break up. All individuals are tied to a leader
– the teacher. Closer relations appear among children sitting near one another in the
classroom or those having a common way to school. When they are in the third class,
there is a bigger solidarity among friends and the teacher’s authority and influence are
weaker. In the fourth and fifth class the group of children can show their attitude,
interest and demands (Říčan, 2006, p.153).
9
Conclusion
It is a very important time in a child’s life. The child experiences a lot of changes
and beginning of school is one of the most significant ones. The child’s role changes
and first school attitudes and opinions are formed. The school should contribute
positively to development of these opinions and teachers should take into account all
changes which happen in the child’s body and mind.
3.4. Does younger mean better?
When speaking about a foreign language it is the English language which will be
taken into account here because it is the wide-spread foreign language in the world as
well as in the Czech Republic. “Teaching English to children has become a worldwide
phenomenon due to the international expansion of English teaching combined with the
general commitment of governments worldwide to reduce the starting age of learning
English and include it in the curriculum in the primary school” (Pinter, 2006, p.3). As
mentioned above the English language demand is increasing and the idea of early
English teaching is supported by the official documents from the Ministry of Education,
Youth and Sports, by psychologists and other authors who deal with this question. They
all point out that there are a lot of advantages in teaching English to young learners
because “young learners have the advantage of being great mimics, are often
unselfconscious, and are usually prepared to enjoy the activities the teacher has
prepared for them” (Phillips, 1993, p.5). Young children are good at copying sounds
and the rhythm of a new language and patterns of intonation. “younger learners are less
anxious and less inhibited and, overall, they can spend more time devoted to the
language compared with those who start later” (Pinter, 2006, p.29).
L. Cameron confirms that “it has long been hypothesised that children learn a second
language better than adults, and this is often used to support the early introduction of
foreign language teaching” (2001, p.13). This belief was originally supported by The
Critical Period Hypothesis. Scovel (1988) defined the Critical Period Hypothesis as “the
notion that language is best learnt during the early years of childhood, and that after
about the first dozen years of life, everyone faces certain restrictions in the ability to
10
pick up a new language” (Scovel in Brewster, Ellis and Girard, 2002, p.20). L. Cameron
enters into details and states that “young children can learn a second language
particularly effectively before puberty because their brains are still able to use the
mechanisms that assisted first language acquisition” (2001, p.13). The original idea
comes from Eric Lenneberg (1967) who said that “brain plasticity was only conductive
to language learning puberty” (Lenneberg in Pinter, 2006, p.29). It means that young
learners learn a foreign language similarly to learning their mother tongue, in a natural
way without thinking about grammar structures and separate meanings of words. And
after puberty “learners seem incapable of acquiring a native-like accent” (Brewster,
Ellis, Girard, 2002, p.21). Young learners are more holistic learners, it means that “on
the one hand they respond to the meaning underlying the language used and do not
worry about individual words or sentences, on the other hand they do not make the
analytical links that older learners do” (Phillips, 2003, p.5).
This hypothesis has a lot of supporters among psycholinguists but there are also
studies which are against that and which say that there is no evidence that the difference
is so great. Lightbown and Spada (1999) suggest that “where native-like proficiency in
a second language is the goal, then learning benefits from an early start, but when the
goal is communicative ability in a foreign language, the benefits of an early start are
much less clear” (Cameron, 2001, p.14) and “learners who start later, at ten or twelve,
catch up very quickly with those who begin learning when younger” (Brewster, Ellis,
Girard, 2002, p.21.). Older learners’ later start can be compensated in some ways. They
are more analytical and give attention to details which helps them with their foreign
language learning (Pinter, 2006, p.29).
To sum up, it is not only the age itself which brings advantages in the second
language learning. An early start is influenced by many factors – levels of motivations
and confidence, differences in language aptitude and personality, contextual factors –
the quality of teaching and provision of adequate time for learning (Brewster, Ellis,
Girard, 2002, p.21).
11
4. Teaching aids
The term teaching aids describes everything what teachers use in the teaching
process to support their learners’ learning. There is a small difference in the terms – the
Czech authors (Skalková, Průcha, Obst) use the term didactic aids, the other authors use
the term teaching aids or teaching materials (J. Moon) or they just deal with the
teaching aids separately and do not have an umbrella term (J. Harmer). The term
teaching aids will be used in this work.
Teaching aids change in the course of time. Nowadays there are more and more
possibilities what aids teachers can use in the classroom. There are traditional ones such
as textbooks, pictures or real objects. These days there are more modern aids such as
CD ROMs, the internet, interactive boards. Teachers have a variety of aids they can use
in their teaching.
Teaching aids can be divided into two main categories – material teaching aids and
nonmaterial teaching aids. O. Obst calls teaching aids as everything what is used by the
teacher and pupils to achieve the educational aims. And besides the blackboard,
textbooks and information technology he introduces teaching methods, teaching forms
and attaining partial aims as instruments to attain final aims. These teaching aids are
called nonmaterial teaching aids (Obst, 2002, p.337).
There are more authors who deal with teaching aids but generally their division and
description are very similar. Skalková says that the term ‘aid’ has a wide meaning and
she agrees with Obst that in the relation to the aims teaching aid is understood as “that
what serves to achieve the aim” (Skalková, 2007, p.249). The term teaching aids
involves “all material aids which ensure, underline and make the course of the teaching
process more efficient. They are such aids that help the teacher and learners to achieve
educational aims in the connection with teaching methods and organisational forms of
teaching” (Maňák, 1995 in Skalková, 2007, p.249).
Maňák divides teaching aids into following categories: real objects, models, images
(pictures, slides, films, television, videos), sound aids (records, musical instruments),
touch aids, literary aids (textbooks, handbooks, atlases, texts) and teaching programs for
computers (Maňák 1995 in Skalková, 2007, p.249).
12
Obst introduces the list of material teaching aids by J. Malach (2003) and it is very
similar to Maňák’s list of aids. He comes up with more detailed list and he divides the
teaching aids into several categories: real objects, models, sound recordings, text aids
(textbooks, worksheets, magazines, encyclopaedias), programmes (television, radio,
computer programs), and then he has a group of technical teaching aids which involves
audio-visual aids (CDs, records, slides, films, videos, multimedia systems, computers).
He concludes his list of teaching aids by three more categories which are organisational
techniques (copy machines, audio and video studios, computers and computer nets, CD
ROMs), teaching rooms and their equipment (classrooms, blackboards, notice boards),
technical rooms, computer rooms, laboratories and the last group is teacher’s and
pupil’s equipment (pens, pencils, drawing materials, portable computers, notebooks
(2002, p.338, 339).
All these are also supported by J. Harmer who deals with teaching aids in connection
with English language teaching. He introduces this topic by saying: “As language
teachers we use a variety of teaching aids to explain language meaning and
construction, engage students in a topic, or as the basis of a whole activity” (2001,
p.134). He gives these main examples of teaching equipment: course books, pictures
and images, audio and video materials, dictionaries, the overhead projector, the board,
bits and pieces, the language laboratory, computers (with the Internet) and homegrown
materials production (2001, p.134-152).
Forsyth, Jolliffe, Stevens come up with the term Instructional materials which they
divide into two categories: teaching aids and learning materials. They define teaching
aids as “those things used by teachers to assist them deliver the message to the learners.
Teaching aids include whiteboards, flipcharts, and overhead transparencies.” What they
understand under the term learning materials is “things the learners learn from” and they
include print materials, computer-based programs, video and audio tapes (1999, p.98).
To sum up the description of teaching aids - many authors have the same or very
similar characteristics and division of teaching aids. These are all things which help
learners to understand and remember the meaning, follow the lesson easily and make
their educational process more efficient and enjoyable.
When teachers prepare their teaching aids they should be aware of their function
which arises from the fact that the person gets 80% of information visually, 12%
13
auditory, 5% by touch and 3% by other senses (Obst, 2002, p.337). He compares this
fact with the traditional school and his end is that this fact is not respected and the
senses are involved as follows: 12% information is gained visually, 80% auditory, 5%
by touch and 3% by other senses and he concludes this by the old Chinese proverb
which says that to see means to forget, to see and to hear means to know and to see, to
hear and to do means to know. On the basis of this proverb he recommends the
necessity to demonstrate as many senses as possible (Obst, 2002, p.338).
On the other hand, because there is a variety of teaching aids, teachers have to learn
to choose suitable ones and they should not be introduced randomly. The teacher should
introduce them with regard to the educational aim, the age and psychical development
of learners, their actual experience and knowledge and also to the conditions of
realization (equipment of the classroom, school) (Skalková, 2007, p.249, 250). This
opinion is supported also by Šimoník who adds that “too many teaching aids can
become a brake of learners’ abstract thinking development.” And he adds that teaching
aids are only an instrument and not the aim of the lesson (2003, p.80).
4.1. Textbooks
Textbooks belong to teaching aids and to the teaching process itself. They play an
important role not only in English language teaching but in teaching generally.
Nowadays there are many discussions about using textbooks in the classrooms.
There are two extremes – one group says the textbook is the basis of the lesson and the
teaching process, the other one says it is not necessary to use the textbook at all.
A. Pinter divides teachers into three groups – those who follow a coursebook very
closely lesson by lesson and those who are able to select their own materials and
activities more freely. And she concludes that “realistically, most teachers are
somewhere in the middle, where there is a coursebook to follow but there is also some
scope for individual contributions” (2006, p.115).
S. Halliwell comes with the point. She says that the question is not ‘Is it a good idea
or a bad idea to use a coursebook extensively?’ The important questions are ‘What does
the coursebook do well?’ and ‘What does the teacher do better?’ and she adds that “we
can each decide to what extent using a coursebook will suit our particular
14
circumstances, what kind of coursebook will be appropriate for us and our classes, and
how best to use it” (2008, p.113). She also speaks about the positives of using a
coursebook and states that the coursebook helps the teacher by providing:
-
a clearly thought out programme which is appropriately sequenced and
structured to include progressive revision
a wider range of material than an individual teacher may be able to collect
security
economy of preparation time
a source of practical teaching ideas
work that the learners can do on their own so that the teacher does not have
to be centre stage all the time
a basis for homework if that is required
a basis for discussion and comparison with other teachers
(2008, p 113).
Most teachers see the advantages of using the coursebooks in the English classroom
as a learning aid for the pupil, identification of what should be taught/learnt, and the
order in which to do it, indication of what methodology should be used and provision of
all or most of the materials needed and it is also a link between the school and home
(Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2008, p.152).
Teachers can be more secure with their teaching because of all the above. They do
not have to prepare the programme and its sequence and they can save time to prepare
some extra materials which they want to use in the classroom. But the coursebook is not
an advantage only for the teacher, also the learners can benefit from it because as S.
Halliwell suggests it also offers the learners:
-
a sense of purpose, progression and progress
a sense of security
scope for independent and autonomous learning
a reference for checking and revising
(2008, p 114).
And J. Harmer adds that “students like coursebooks too since they foster the perception
of progress as units and then books are completed” (2001, p.304).
There are a lot of positives in using a coursebook however there are still some things
that the teacher can do better than a book. These are:
-
providing the spoken word in spoken exchanges
adjusting work in response to the reactions of the children
using communication other than words and pictures to back up language
elements
15
-
setting up learning activities which encourage learners to talk and profit from
interaction
(Halliwell, 2008, p 114).
On the other hand there are teachers who either decide to teach without a coursebook
or they just do not have one and then they have to prepare their teaching programme
themselves. They are free to do what they like but it is not so easy and S. Halliwell
states three main things these teachers will have to sort out and they are:
-
How to give the programme a unifying thread and identifiable purpose.
What topics to include and what to include under any particular topic.
How frequent and how long language lesson should be if it is left to you.
(2008, p 122).
It means that the teacher and also the learners need to have a programme which they can
follow, it has to have a purpose and the whole programme has to be unified. S Halliwell
suggests three steps how to create a coherent programme and she takes the children as
the starting point. According to her the first step is to find out what aspects of life a
child really talks, thinks, reads and writes about. It means it is important to know what
the children’s interests, experience and concern are (food, people, family, friends, things
they do at school, at home,…). The second step is to think about the language needs
they have in those areas. The teacher has to consider “whether the child is most likely to
need to be able to use language in these areas in the form of speaking, listening, reading
or writing.” And the final step is to choose starter phrases, vocabulary, structures (2008,
p.124). This approach can be very attractive. Harmer concludes that “it can offer
students a dynamic and varied programme and if they can see its relevance to their own
needs, it will greatly enhance their motivation and their trust in what they are being
asked to do” (2001, p.304).
Choosing a coursebook
There is a variety of English coursebooks available on the market. They are
coursebooks for general courses. These usually consist of several volumes (elementary,
pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced, proficiency). The
coursebook is usually a part of the whole set which contains – a student’s book, a
workbook (activity book), a teacher’s book, picture flashcards, posters, a set of CDs
16
(cassettes), sometimes a DVD (video), a CD ROM and a teacher’s resource book of
photocopiable materials. “Young learners’ coursebooks are well designed with
attractive features such as colourful visuals, fun games and tasks, crafts, and projects”
(Pinter, 2006, p.115). There are books which are aimed at learning and practicing one
particular aspect of English, for example books teaching vocabulary, grammar,
listening, reading and other skills and subskills. “All of these publications represent a
wealth and variety of resources for the teacher to choose from and with the possibility
of on-line purchasing, they are easily available” (Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2008, p.151).
These authors also recommend the teachers to familiarize themselves with the aims of
their teaching programme and any ministry documents that provide guidelines before
selecting suitable materials and coursebooks for their teaching (2008, p.151).
Authors offer different ways how to choose a suitable coursebook. Brewster, Ellis
and Girard suggest the starting point for selecting a book to look into publishers’
catalogues, look at the information on the back of the book or contents charts – they set
out the various elements and also give insight into the methodology used (2008, p.153).
S. Halliwell comes with the set of questions which teachers can ask themselves and then
they are able to choose an appropriate coursebook. For example:
-
Are you working within a system which requires you to cover certain topics?
If so, look at the coverage of the book.
Are you sufficiently confident about your own use of the language to be able
to provide any missing elements?
Do you have lots of teaching ideas yourself or will you rely on the
coursebook for ideas?
Does your school expect you to provide homework?
Do your children have to buy their own books? – the question of money
Are the children well intentioned but very slow?
Are there many children in the class who are weak at reading and writing?
(2008, p.116, 117).
These authors also recommend a discussion of this matter with another teacher or a
group of teachers (Halliwell, 2008, p.117, Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2008, p.155).
And finally S. Halliwell concludes that although teachers are lucky with their choice, in
the course of time they can find out that this particular coursebook is not totally suitable
because “the book can provide the material but it is usually the teacher who can best
organise the events which turn the material into a real language exchange” (2008,
p.117).
17
The coursebook is usually a set of three books – pupil’s book, activity book
(workbook) and teacher’s book. The pupil’s book is usually used for classroom work
and the activity book is often used for pupils’ self-study or homework. The teacher’s
book gives teachers instructions how to work with these books to achieve the
educational aims. Sometimes it is accompanied by a set of tests or some extra
photocopiable materials which can be used in the classroom.
All coursebooks are usually organized to cover all skills and subskills. It can save
teachers’ time because the main structure of the course is given and they can
concentrate on preparing the lesson plan itself. And they do not have to worry if they do
not have many extra materials. It concerns especially beginning teachers who are not so
experienced and they have some basic structures which they can follow in the
coursebook.
Summary
There is not one answer to the question about using a coursebook in English
language teaching. When the coursebook is chosen well teachers and their pupils can
only benefit from them. Coursebooks for young learners are funny, full of pictures,
stories and they are easily available. They can be happy to fill in exercises, to read
stories, to listen to songs and they may want to take the coursebook home to show their
parents what they have done and learnt and after finishing it, they can see what progress
they have done. It is fine when the use of the coursebook is balanced. It can be the main
teaching aid but teachers do not have to go exercise by exercise, unit by unit but they
can be free to choose what best suits them and their pupils and it should be
accompanied by some extra materials which can make learning more enjoyable. Then
the coursebook can become an efficient teaching aid.
4.2. Story books
Stories are usually very popular with young learners. They like stories in their
mother tongue and using story books in their English language learning can be an
enjoyable activity for them. They can learn new words, phrases or grammar structures
in a spontaneous and playful way and they can practise retelling the stories.
18
Some coursebooks are accompanied by stories which are a part of the coursebook
and the learners can read them at the end of the unit or at the end of the book. These
stories are usually specially designed for the specific age group and the language of the
stories is modified. But teachers can use story books which contain stories and fairy
tales that the children know from their mother tongue and they are simplified (in terms
of grammar and vocabulary) to be used in an English classroom. Brewster, Ellis and
Girard comment on this and declare that these stories are intended to be used by the
learners alone to develop their reading skills and as the starting point for other related
language learning work (2002, p.188). “Language is picked up easily because stories
contain repetition which makes linguistic input more noticeable” (A. Pinter, 2006, p.53)
But teachers can also like reading stories aloud for the learners and then they should
carefully plan these activities to make listening more comfortable for the learners
because it can be hard work to listen to and understand the story even for children who
are used to listening to stories. “Pupils’ enjoyment will increase enormously if we
ensure their understanding is supported in several ways” (Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2002,
p.192). It means that teachers can prepare some pictures which will accompany the
story, or if it is for example a story about animals they can bring some animal models to
the classroom to help them to understand. They give teachers some advice how to read
stories aloud for their learners to make it a nice and enjoyable activity. Teachers are
advised to use the story as a guide. They should read the story more times to learn it by
heart, then they will not read it directly from the page in the book but they will be able
to look at their pupils more frequently (2002, p.193).
As Brewster, Ellis and Girard confirm “storybooks can provide an ideal introduction
to the foreign language as it is presented in a context that is familiar to the child” (2002,
p.186). Vale and Feunteun even maintain that “stories are a key role in a language
development of children and are constant source of enjoyment” (1995, p.40). On the
other hand beside all these positive benefits L. Cameron warns that teachers should
adopt a critical stance to stories and their use in the classroom and aim to clarify the
qualities of good stories. And she adds that teachers should be careful so that their own
nostalgia does not push the use of stories beyond the reality of learners’ lives in this
information age (2001, p.160).
19
Teachers can use many simplified versions of story books as mentioned above but
they can also choose from a variety of authentic story books. They are books which
were originally written for English-speaking children and the language is not simplified.
These original story books can also be used with the children who just learn English as
a foreign language but as Brewster, Ellis and Gerard suggest these should be carefully
chosen by the teachers. “The advantage of using authentic storybooks is that they
provide examples of real language and offer a rich source of authentic input, especially
in terms of vocabulary.” They also add that it can be very motivational because learners
have a strong sense of achievement because they work with a real story book. And these
story books are accompanied by illustrations which are appealing to young learners and
they help children to understand the story itself (2002, p.188).
Summary
Using a story book in English language teaching can be good fun for children when
it is carefully chosen. They can learn a lot of words, phrases and also grammar. The
teacher has to decide whether to use authentic story books or simplified versions. When
the story book and story telling are accompanied by some other aids (pictures, models)
it can lead to language development and motivate young learners to read in the English
language. When they understand the story they are willing to retell it and as A. Wright
utters “retelling stories is as old as time, we do it every day” (1997, p.48). And pupils
will like to retell it even with limited language when the teacher prepares good
conditions for it. They do not have to retell the whole story, they can only complete
some missing information and they will feel that they have managed it.
4.3. Pictures and images
Pictures are an important part of English language teaching especially concerning
teaching young learners. Pictures are an example of visual aids which are very
important because as D. Vale and A. Feunteun proclaim “we live in a world dominated
by visual messages.” Information in the form of words and picture clues is all around
us, displayed in many public places, on television and children therefore grow up
expecting their world to be visual. And they add that “it is no coincidence that most
20
popular stories for young children are beautifully illustrated.” In this case the pictures
support the written form of the words (1995, p.106).
Using pictures, teachers can introduce or practice new words, grammar structures or
indicate the beginning/end of the lesson or a change of an activity. D. Vale and A.
Feunteun present a list how to use pictures as visual aids:
-
support understanding when the children are listening
put across the meaning and vocabulary
prompt and support reading
provide a topic or visual focus to prompt speaking and writing
provide a visual link between L1 and English
provide support and motivation for early reading and writing in English
provide ways around communication barriers.
(1995, p.106).
There are more kinds of pictures and images which can be used in the English
classroom. J. Harmer offers teachers some possibilities of pictures suitable to be used in
the classroom. He suggests using pictures either drawn or taken from books,
newspapers or magazines – these all can facilitate learning. Pictures can be in a form of
flashcards, large wall pictures (posters), cue cards, photographs, illustrations, projected
slides, or projected computer images (2001, p.134).
Flashcards do not have to be only pictures, but as Brewster, Ellis and Girard mention
they can also carry words. If so, they recommend: “they should be produced in large,
clear, black letter using a computer or written clearly by hand” (2008, p.161). This rule
should be applied to using pictures as well. They should be well seen by all learners also
from the back rows in the classroom and the meaning should be clear so that the
learners understand what the picture means.
Some teachers may not be willing to create (draw) their own pictures or images. It
does not have to be because the teachers are not interested in it but there can be more
reasons. J. Moon summarises these reasons: lack of time, cost involved in making, lack
of handbooks or reference books from which to get ideas, lack of skills/expertise to
design their own materials. She comes with some ideas how to make it more
manageable and suggests involving pupils in cutting, sticking, copying, illustrating.
This can save teacher’s time, pupils can feel more important and more materials can be
made. The problem of cost or lack of handbooks can be solved by getting together with
other teachers and then sharing the produced materials. This works well when there are
21
more English teachers in one school. When teachers feel they are not skilled enough to
make their own pictures or materials or they are beginning teachers and are not
confident to create something for learners she suggests to start by trying out activities
from textbooks which can give teachers ideas. On the other hand she also says that even
teachers are not professional painters or artists, pupils usually appreciate their effort to
create something new for them (2005, p.87, 88).
Nowadays the problem of creating own pictures is a little eliminated because a lot of
coursebooks for young learners are already equipped with a set of flashcards, cue cards
or even posters. The big advantage is that these pictures are made to fit the words and
grammar in the coursebook which makes it very easy for the teacher to use them. They
are usually colour and realistic flashcards and posters so that learners can understand
them easily and they are laminated to be durable. Cue cards can be either colour or
black and white which enables learners to colour them as they want and then use them
in the classroom. Another big advantage of using flashcards which are attached to the
coursebooks is the instructions provided in the teacher’s book. Teachers are informed
about what flashcards are included in the set and they are given some ideas or
recommendations how to use them in their teaching. Here is an example from the
teacher’s book of the set Incredible English 1 by Mary Slattery, published by Oxford
University Press. This coursebook is recommended for the first grade of elementary
school. Teachers get to know that there are 147 picture cards for level 1 – these include
unit vocabulary (9 units) plus colours, numbers and course characters. There are also
138 text cards included and these can be used in combination with the flashcards to
increase language exposure and provide support for reading. Their use is optional in the
first units to provide flexibility for teachers who do not wish to introduce the written
word until later in the school year (2007, p.8).
The idea of using flashcards is promoted by S. Phillips who speaks about learning
words and says that “vocabulary is best learned when the meaning of the word(s) is
illustrated, for example by the picture. The children should then meet and use the
word(s) in relevant contexts, in order to fix them in their minds.” She describes the
flashcards as an invaluable way of introducing and revising vocabulary, and drilling
simple structures (1993, p.68, 69).
22
Pictures can be used in many ways and J. Harmer introduces some examples: drills –
with lower-level students a traditional use for pictures – the teacher holds up one
flashcard, nominates a student and gets a response. Then he holds up another one and
nominates another student and so on. This can be a whole class activity or students can
work in pairs or groups and practice vocabulary or grammar items. Another possibility
of using flashcards is in communication games – students have pictures and create a
story, or one student describes the picture and the second one draws the same picture
without looking at the original one. An important role of pictures is presenting and
checking meaning. It is easy to explain what ‘aeroplane’ means when the teacher shows
the picture of an aeroplane. Pictures can be used for creative language use – students
can describe a picture, invent a conversation taking place between two people in the
picture, make role-play (2001, p.135, 136).
Posters are another visual aid. As flashcards, they are a part of a coursebook and they
perfectly fit the topics in the books. Posters are usually bigger, and they are suitable for
the whole class activity. Pupils can play a game, they can revise vocabulary and
grammar. They should be clear to be understood and well visible by all pupils in the
classroom.
Summary
Pictures and posters are beneficial teaching aids when teaching English to young
learners. They lower the use of mother tongue because teachers do not have to translate
the words, they only show the picture and pupils understand the meaning. And so it is
very important to use only pictures which are clear and young learners will understand
their meaning. Pictures can be used in many ways, in many activities.
4.4. Computers, the internet, CD-ROMs
Computers play a very important role in an everyday life of all people. In a civilized
world we cannot imagine our lives without computers and the internet. They have
become a standard in offices, institutions, homes. And not surprisingly, schools have
had to react to this new trend and computers now play a significant part in education.
Computers, the internet and CD-ROMs have become teaching aids widely used in many
23
schools by many teachers and learners. And nowadays computers are becoming a
standard piece of equipment in many schools. There are differences in the number of
computers per school. “Computer facilities in schools vary enormously from one per
school to one per classroom to a fully equipped computer room” (Brewster, Ellis,
Girard, 2002, p.207). But the teacher can adapt and try to use computers as much as
possible. Brewster, Ellis and Girard take into account that there can be differences and
they come with some suggestions how fewer computers per school can be used. When
the teacher has one computer in the classroom he can divide students into groups and
organize the activities so that each group gets a turn to work on the computer. Or he can
use one computer for the whole class activity if the computer screen is possible to be
projected on the wall or on the screen (2002, p.207). This all is a question of the
teacher’s lesson planning and managing learners and their work. In fact, the trend of
computer use is still increasing and schools make efforts to equip classes with
computers and the internet. In the Czech Republic this trend is supported also by the
government and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and they have started the
project Internet to schools which enables many schools to be equipped with computers
and the internet. It concerns 3620 Czech schools and the research published on
www.indos.cz shows that the schools appreciate this project positively.
On the other hand there are still some sceptics who do not agree with the idea of
using computers in the classroom and they do not believe that computers can help in the
teaching and learning process. But as G. Petty confirms they are usually those who have
the least experience with computers. And he adds that whether we like it or not the
computers exist and they are common in the real world and students are expected to be
able to use them (2008, p.291).
Computers can be used in all school subjects, by all students regardless of their age
but “it is important that pupils understand that using computers is for learning and not
for play” (Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2002, p.207).
J. Harmer introduces the main uses for computers in language teaching – reference,
teaching and testing programs, E-mail exchange, web sites, the word processor.
“One of the chief uses of computers, either through the Internet or on CD/DVDROMs, is as a reference tool. This can be connected to teaching, the English language or
general facts about the world (Harmer, 2001, p.146). A lot of information is available
24
not only on the internet but there are a lot of popular encyclopaedias which are now on
CD-ROMs. They are not only the encyclopaedias but also dictionaries are available on
CD-ROMs. And they are popular among pupils especially because it is much quicker
and more comfortable to look up the words than in the traditional paper dictionaries.
The big advantage of these CD-ROM dictionaries is, apart from definitions, spoken
pronunciation of words and practice exercises and activities (Harmer, 2001, p.146).
Nowadays publishers are also making dictionaries available online and many of them
are free and pupils can download them free of charge and use them whenever they need.
There are now programs which can even record pupils’ words and correct their
pronunciation.
This reference tool is mostly used to find information on the internet when pupils are
asked to do a project and they have to find specific information. Doing project work,
teachers are advised to prepare in advance to be ready to make this searching on the
internet easier for pupils because as Harmer and Brewster, Ellis and Girard mention
pupils can face a huge amount of irrelevant materials and they can spend the whole
lesson just searching information. If the teacher is prepared in advance and gives pupils
the ground beforehand it is very helpful and it saves pupils’ time which can then be
spent on the project work itself (Harmer, 2001, p.146, Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2002,
p.211).
While searching information on the internet Harmer and Brewster, Ellis and Girard
strongly recommend keeping an eye on what pupils are watching on the internet.
Harmer mentions that teachers have to remember that pupils can be just surfing the net
and not doing their work and then losing sight of the original task (2001, p.147).
Brewster, Ellis and Girard then warn of materials which are inappropriate for viewing
by children. They advise to protect the computers with some programs which should
filter out unsuitable content, words or phrases and these programs will not allow pupils
to connect to banned sites. They also point out that teachers should always know what
pupils do on the computer and on the internet and when they are in the computer room,
the computers should be arranged so that the computer screens are facing inwards and
the teacher can easily check what pupils do at every moment (2002, p.212).
Closely connected to the use of the internet is an E-mail exchange. E-mails are a
common everyday matter and because learners use them in their private lives, they can
25
be used in their school lives too. The learners do not have to communicate only with
their friends at home but they can easily find friends all over the word and they can
write e-mails in English. It does not have to be just to practise their English writing but
at the same time they can enjoy themselves and they do not understand this activity as
learning but they can feel it is for pleasure and they are more willing then to write in
English. Because “as well as writing about people they know or imagine, children love
to find out about other children. Lots of children around the world are learning English”
(Slattery, Willis, 2001, p.93). These authors also support the idea mentioned above that
“pupils could write to other children anywhere in the world, not just to children whose
mother tongue is English.” And they present some advantages of writing e-mails which
include a very practical way to use English, children can see the real value of learning
another language – to communicate and find out about other people, they learn about
other attitudes and ways of doing things. They are not just practising their English –
they are opening their minds to the rest of the world (2001, p.93, 94). But on the other
hand as J. Harmer mentions “it should be remembered that e-mails are often written in a
special speaking-like informal style.” And he adds that grammatical correctness or
spelling can be lower. So e-mails can promote written fluency but not accuracy (2001,
p.148).
CD-ROMs
The range of CD-ROMs is increasing in English language teaching and a lot of
coursebooks are now accompanied by a CD-ROM with extra materials and activities
which can be used in the classroom. These CD-ROMs include teaching and testing
programs. “They offer students the chance to study conversations and texts, to do
grammar and vocabulary exercises, and even to listen to texts and record their own
voices” (Harmer, 2001, p.147). Harmer says that there are still teachers who criticise
using computer-based programs because they think there are just the same types of
exercises as learners can find in their workbooks. But these programs can be
motivational for learners because it is always a change for them when they can stand up
and go to the computer and they are willing to ‘play’ with some language exercises even
if they are similar to those ones which they have already done in their workbook (2001,
26
p.147). When the teachers want to incorporate CD-ROMs into their teaching they have
to realise that “CD-ROMs are an ideal way to complement face-to-face teaching, on the
whole they are not designed to replace it” (Smith, Baber, 2005, p.53). When teachers
plan to use CD-ROMs they need to consider that young learners will probably need
some time to familiarize with these programs and one lesson should be planned to be an
introductory lesson for using CD-ROMs. When the learners know how to use the
program they will profit from using it.
4.5. Interactive boards
CD-ROMs can be also used in the connection with the interactive board. It is a new
technical innovation of the twenty-first century and its popularity is increasing and
schools and teachers start to use it. Nowadays when most pupils and students have a
computer at home it is not hard to learn to work on the interactive board because its
operating is very similar to computers. The only difference is that the interactive board
is operated by a finger or a special pen, the computer is operated by a mouse and a
keyboard. It can be a very motivational aid because pupils love working on a computer
and they are willing to work on the interactive board rather than to sit at their desks and
copy notes from the classical board. It brings more fun and interaction to education and
pupils will race in going to the interactive board. It can give a completely different
picture from the one where there is only a classical board and pupils are not so active to
go to the board. On the other hand, young learners also like going to the blackboard and
writing with a chalk but they also appreciate the possibility to use the interactive board
for examample for a few lessons. A. Pokorný summarizes advantages and disadvantages
of interactive boards. The advantages are: the possibility to use dynamic components
(pictures, videos, process simulations), easy modification of prepared presentations,
possibility to store pictures created on the interactive board in the computer, possibility
to send these pictures by e-mail or place them on web sites. In comparison to classical
teaching in computer rooms, the teacher can use classical teaching methods fully
supported by a computer. What can be seen as a disadvantage is necessary calibration of
the interactive board when it is moved in the classroom or the light conditions are
changed, the rooms have to be darkened (2007, p.24). But despite these disadvantages
27
the use of interactive boards is increasing and they are very popular among pupils and
teachers.
Summary
When pupils are asked about their hobbies, their most frequent answer is ‘I like
playing computer games’, ‘I like chatting on the internet.’ It does not concern only older
pupils, young learners are interested in computers too. They play a lot of computer
games every day and the computer is an ordinary part of their life. And that is the reason
why computer use can be very beneficial in educational process. Computers, the internet
and CD-ROMs are understood as a source of fun and pleasure and they are accepted
very positively by all pupils. They do not understand computers as a means of learning
but as a source of fun and they are happy to do even grammar exercises because it is a
pleasant opportunity to use the computer at school and they feel it as free time more
than learning. It refers to computer programs and the internet too. They can keep in
touch with other children all around the world on the internet and they can make the
best of their English knowledge.
4.6. Audio and video materials
Audio materials are important to teaching young learners because as A. Pinter
suggests “just as in mother tongue learning, English should start with an emphasis on
listening and then speaking.” And she adds that young beginners need to start with
plenty of listening practice because this is the time when they cannot read or write at all
yet, or not with much confidence (2006, p.45). That is the reason why a lot of
coursebooks are accompanied by CDs or cassettes and they are widely used by teachers
in the classrooms. Concerning young learners these CDs usually contain songs, chants,
rhymes, stories and other listening activities from the course. The use of these recorded
materials has some advantages and disadvantages and J. Harmer presents some of them.
According to him the advantages include: taped material allows students to hear a
variety of different voices apart form just their own teacher’s, taped material is
extremely portable and readily available and the tapes are cheap. That is the reason why
“most coursebooks include tapes, and many teachers rely on tapes to provide a
28
significant source of language input” (2001, p.229). But on the other hand teachers can
face some problems when they want to use the tapes in their teaching. And J. Harmer
lists some disadvantages which can appear from using the tapes. And as the biggest
disadvantage he declares the problem of big classrooms with poor acoustics. It means
that it can happen that not all learners will hear the tape with the same quality depending
up their seat in the classroom (2001, p.229). This problem can partly be solved by using
the language classroom (laboratory) if this is available in the school. Then every learner
has his or her own headphones and they can listen to CDs without hearing any noises
and they can have clear listening no matter where they sit in the classroom. This can
also be a good chance for the teacher to check learners’ pronunciation separately.
Usually when young learners are asked to repeat songs, chants or rhymes, they do it
altogether and it is hard for the teacher to check their pronunciation or intonation. When
young learners are asked to perform something separately, not in a group, they can be
shy and nervous. In this case the learner has his or her headset which consists of
headphones and a microphone and if the language laboratory enables the teacher to hear
pupils it is easy to check every learner and they do not have even to know about it. But
this depends on how well the language laboratory is equipped. Another problem which
Harmer sees as a disadvantage is “that everyone has to listen at the same speed, a speed
dictated by the tape, not by the listener” (2001, p.229). But he concludes this and says
that despite the disadvantages taped materials are widely used for the advantages
described above (2001, p.229).
Songs, rhymes and chants
As far as young learners are concerned, as mentioned above, the taped materials have
their value in the classroom and songs, rhymes, chants and stories are mostly used in
young learners’ teaching. All children love nursery rhymes and chants and “their
repetitive nature and rhythm make them an ideal vehicle for language learning”
(Brewster, Ellis, Girard, 2002, p.162). As Slattery and Willis suggest “before children
begin to say the words in rhymes and chants, they should understand roughly what they
mean” (2001, p.27). And they give teachers some useful tips how to teach them:
teachers are recommended to use pictures to help children understand and remember the
29
meaning of words, to use movements to help them understand, to use big gestures to
help them enjoy the chant (2001, p.28). Then children soon begin to repeat the words as
they do the actions, they speak with the teacher or the CD. They usually like singing
and performing and it can help them feel at ease with English (Slattery, Willis, 2001,
p.44). They provide teachers with ideas how chants and nursery rhymes can be used for
– enjoyment, as part of a teaching plan, as a change in activity, to revise vocabulary, to
connect with new or familiar topics, to practice up-to-date expressions, for drama and to
practise punctuation (2001, p.45). Brewster, Ellis and Girard come with much more
detailed description of positive features of using chants, songs and rhymes in the
classroom, they do not look only at the language itself but they consider it from more
points of view. They speak about linguistic, psychological, cognitive, cultural, and
social resources. A linguistic resource includes introduction of new language, structures
and vocabulary, presenting familiar language in new and exciting forms, providing lots
of natural and enjoyable repetition, developing all skills in an integrated way and
improving all aspects of pronunciation. A psychological/affective resource includes
motivation and fun and developing positive attitudes towards the target language, shy
children will feel secure when singing and chanting in a group or class, feeling of
achievement and building children’s confidence. A cognitive resource includes
developing concentration, memory and coordination, actions and gestures help to
reinforce meaning, changing the pace and atmosphere of a lesson. A cultural resource
means that they are from authentic sources and can contribute to the cultural component
of a language programme. And lastly a social resource means that singing and chanting
together is a shared social experience and helps to develop a class and group identity
(2002, p.162, 163). But in the end they also emphasise the importance of songs, chants
and rhymes from the language point of view. They describe how they are important for
practising pronunciation – this includes individual sounds and sounds in connected
speech, features relating to stress, rhythm, and intonation (2002, p.163).
CDs which coursebooks for young learners are accompanied by are usually provided
with instructions how to use them and how to get the best from them. Songs, rhymes
and chants can be used in many ways in the classroom and Brewster, Ellis and Girard
have a summary which includes: warmers, closers, to introduce, practise and revise
language, to change the mood, to get everyone’s attention, as a transition from one
30
activity to another one (2002, p.168). Slattery and Willis conclude this matter with
giving teachers tips for songs, rhymes and chants:
-
start with very short rhymes or chants
look for songs and chants that have topics your children are learning about
make sure the children generally understand what they are saying
use songs and rhymes to play with sounds: speaking softly – shouting loudly
use simple instruments to add to the rhythm, such as tambourine, bell, drum,
cymbal
encourage your pupils to say them for family and friends outside school
(2001, p.46).
CDs for slightly older learners do not involve so many songs, rhymes and chants but
their function is still very similar. They are used to introduce vocabulary, grammar, to
practise pronunciation and there are more dialogues and stories in which learners can
hear authentic texts.
CDs are widely used in English language teaching and teachers rely on them a lot
especially when they are not sure with their pronunciation and they want to teach their
pupils good pronunciation. Then CDs can be a big help.
Using videos and DVDs
Videos and DVDs are connected with learners’ everyday life and so it can also be a
useful teaching aid in an English classroom. Video is a source of fun for learners but as
G. Petty warns teachers cannot suppose that it automatically means learners will watch
the programme greatly interested (2008, p.288). There are a lot of things which the
teacher must take into account to fulfil the aim of the video lesson.
When videos are well chosen they can provide a ready-made context for presentation
of new vocabulary, structures, and functions as well as providing a stimulus for
speaking (Phillips, 1993, p.126). And because the video combines the spoken language
and images this can help children to understand the situation and the language. S.
Phillips presents one example – when beginners hear ‘Come here’ on an audio cassette
they will not probably know what it means but when they see it on a video accompanied
by a gesture and response, the meaning is immediately obvious (1993, p.126). J. Harmer
agrees with S. Phillips and he adds next advantages of using a video. It allows learners
to see situations beyond the classroom. They can see typical British or American
31
situations for example inviting someone out, speaking to waiters, they can see what
kinds of food people eat in other countries and what they wear. And when the video
watching is coupled with interesting tasks, most students show an increased level of
interest so it can be a source of motivation to learn the English language (2001, p.282).
Brewster, Ellis and Girard come with much more detailed list of the benefits of using
videos in the English language classrooms. They divide these benefits into five main
categories which are psychological, linguistic, cognitive, social, and cultural benefits.
Psychological benefit is fun, motivation and stimulation of children. It caters for
children with different learning styles, it can develop confidence and positive attitudes
to the foreign language and it can be used as a reward for good work the children have
done. Linguistic benefit is combining sound and vision which makes it more memorable
for the children, it includes also non-verbal communication, it can develop all skills and
introduce or revise new words and phrases. Cognitive benefit is developing children’s
curiosity, it heightens children’s awareness of visual and audio clues as aids to meaning,
it maximizes children’s abilities to infer from context. Social benefit is sharing social
experience while watching a video. Cultural benefit is taking children outside the
classroom into a real or fantasy world, it provides background cultural information and
children can see what it is really like in an English-speaking country (2002, p.204).
Teachers can use authentic videos or videos/DVDs which were specially made for
English language learners. Vale and Feunteun support the idea of authentic materials as
a source of “wealth of language input in a highly supportive visual support and they
may also contain much cultural information” but on the other hand they signalize that
during watching such authentic materials children may seem to understand what is
happening but in the end they will not be able to answer any specific teacher’s
questions. And they conclude this and say that “use of video in this way does not teach
language, but it most certainly supports its acquisition” (1995, p.111).
Nowadays a lot of courseboks are equipped not only with CDs as mentioned above
but also with DVDs or videos with instructions for teachers how to profit from using
them. The language is simplified for the specific grade and the learners can understand
and do some tasks which check their understanding. But when teachers want to use
videos in the classroom they have to consider some points and Vale and Feunteun
summarize these points and introduce ideas which should be taken into consideration by
32
teachers. They ask these questions: Is the material authentic? It means would a nativespeaking child want to watch it. Is the material didactic? The material may seem
attractive to a teacher but it can only be a passive medium for the presentation of the
tense for the learners. Is the content interesting? It means if the children want to watch
the video again and again (1995, p.111).
It is important to bear in mind that watching a video should not be just fun for
learners and as S. Phillips suggests when teachers prepare a video lesson, they should
always have a clear aim in mind – presenting new language, complementing the
textbook (1993, p.126). And the video lesson and tasks should be created to fulfil this
aim.
Summary
CDs and DVDs are teaching aids which offer authentic English especially in the
terms of listening. CDs provide young learners with songs, chants, rhymes. DVDs are
accompanied by the picture which helps learners to understand better. They are popular
teaching aids among teachers and they are highly appreciated by learners too.
4.7. Puppets
Puppets belong to teaching aids especially concerning young learners. Puppets can
be used in many ways in the classroom and they can be a big help to teachers when they
want to use the English language as much as possible and they do not want to translate
everything into the mother tongue. And young learners usually like these puppets and
when they get used to seeing them in the English classroom they can profit from them.
A lot of teaching sets for young learners are now equipped with a puppet. As an
example two glove puppets can be mentioned – Cookie, the cat – which comes with the
set of Cookie and Friends and Norton, the bird – this puppet comes with the set of
Incredible English. Both these sets are available on the market also in the Czech
Republic. The advantage of having this puppet in the set is the instruction which is
added and teachers get ideas how to use the puppet efficiently in the classroom. Both
these puppets are the story characters in the book and as M. Slattery writes they “act as
a link between the classroom and the imaginary world of the course” (2007, p.9). V.
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Reilly advises teachers how to use the puppet of Cookie – for classroom management. It
means he can demonstrate what the children have to do, he can quieten the class, he
chooses children to come out and he comforts children who are upset. Then he can be
used in circle time activities like pass the puppet, Cookie says…, Where’s Cookie?,
correct Cookie, wake Cookie up. And he can also help with English – he looks at what
Lulu has in her pouch, he shows words to the children, children repeat words after
Cookie, he says the wrong word for the flashcard and the children have to correct him
(2005, p.11). V. Reilly adds that Cookie should always speak only in English and she
calls him the teacher’s helper (2005, p.6). M. Slattery supports this idea and adds that
“his main role in class is to assist the teacher in presenting vocabulary and revising it
throughout the unit” (2007, p.9). She presents how the puppet can assist the teacher:
- expose children to more English in use
- encourage them to try and use more English to communicate
- supply immediate visual support for meaning
- provide opportunities for language use in natural context
- create opportunities for natural repetition of language
- enable you to include more local and cultural information
(2008, p.11, 12).
Both these authors recommend using the puppets to start and finish the lesson because
“it is useful to have a routine that pupils are familiar with and look forward to”
(Slattery, 2007, p.9).
The puppets can also be used to introduce a new grammar pattern. As L. Cameron
suggests “the teacher can construct a dialogue with a story-line, that uses repetition plus
contrast pattern, to be played out by puppets” (2001, p.114). The children watch the
play, listen to the words, phrases or a short dialogue more times and as they enjoy it
then they can remember it more easily. Scott and Ytreberg even say that the puppet is
one of the most successful ways of presenting language to young children. “Having
someone familiar constantly on hand with whom you can have conversations is a
wonderful way of introducing new subjects and new language to young children” (1990,
p.34).
It does not have to be only the teacher who uses the puppets in the classroom.
Children can make their own paper or finger puppets and they can use them to practice
their English. They can listen to the teacher’s puppets’ dialogue and then they can act
their own puppets’ dialogue. Its advantage is that pupils do not have to be afraid of
34
making mistakes because it is not them who is speaking, it is the puppet and he can
make a mistake. It is recommended by M. Slattery who says “allow Norton to make
mistakes sometimes, so that pupils feel more comfortable with their own mistakes”
(2007, p.9). This can be useful for children who are shy and normally do not speak
because the teacher can encourage them by confirming that it is the puppet who speaks
and the puppet is not afraid of making a mistake.
Summary
The puppet is a perfect teaching aid to be used with young learners. Its function is
similar to that one of pictures – it can lower the use of mother tongue because the
puppet can be introduced as he comes from England and cannot speak Czech and he
only speaks and understands English. And when children want to tell him something
they have to use only the English language. It can have a motivational effect. Children
are not afraid of him and love him and make efforts to speak to him.
4.8. Dictionaries
The dictionary is an important aid for all English language students. It is a source of
vocabulary and it can be used both at school as well as at home to help students to do
their homework or other activities connected with a foreign language.
Also young learners should learn the importance of dictionaries and the dictionary
should become a standard teaching aid in their English classroom. The young learners
will not use bilingual or monolingual dictionaries because their ability to read is not
very good and it would be very hard to look up words in such dictionaries. But
nowadays there is a variety of dictionaries which are made especially for young
learners. These are usually called picture dictionaries and it means that the meaning of
the words is conveyed by pictures and illustrations which make it very easy for children
to understand the words. Usually these dictionaries designed for children are divided
into basic categories which are concrete for them. They are words about family, free
time, animals, world around them, time, toys, parts of the body, etc.
35
A lot of dictionaries are accompanied by a CD or CD-ROM that offer all vocabulary,
chants, dialogues and stories or some activities based on vocabulary from the
dictionary.
Pupils can also create their own picture dictionary. This idea is offered in some
coursebooks. Pupils create their vocabulary bank with all new words they find
throughout their pupil’s book and at the end of the school year they have their own
small picture dictionary which they can easily use in the following school year to revise
words from the previous one. Chit chat coursebook can be mentioned as an example.
Pupils are given pictures in every unit, they write words next to the pictures and create
their small dictionary. These words are divided into topics – for example clothes, food,
family and at the end they have 12 units of words and they can revise words when they
need (Shipton, Bradshaw, 2002)
Summary
Dictionaries are necessary teaching aids for English students. They are a source of
vocabulary and they function as help to pupils. With regard to young learners picture
dictionaries are the best choice to support their learning to use the dictionary.
5. Conclusion of the theoretical part
Nowadays teachers can use a lot of teaching aids from the traditional and common
ones which are textbooks, boards, pictures to the latest ones as computers, computer
programs, the internet, interactive boards and when they are introduced deliberately
they function as help to learners to get through the educational process successfully and
in more enjoyable way. But as J. Moon declares: “it is not the materials in themselves
which are important, but how they are used to help pupils’ language learning” (2005,
p.86). It means that teaching aids are an important part of the educational process but
their use has to be elaborated by teachers.
36
6. RESEARCH
6.1. Introduction
The research does not belong only to the field of science but it is a part of teaching
and educational processes and it is carried out to bring new information to teachers or
researchers. D. Nunan introduces this classroom observation and research by stating that
“as language classrooms are specially constituted to bring about learning, it is not
unreasonable to collect data about what goes on there as a means of adding to our
knowledge of language learning and use (1992, p.91).
The research is included in the practical part of this thesis. The practical part consists
of the research structure, the research procedure and the outcomes.
At the beginning of this practical part the research aim is defined, it is followed by
background information about the school, teachers and learners and the research time
plan. The main part contains the research procedure itself, the analyses and outcomes. It
is concluded by research evaluation.
6.2. The research aim and questions
The research is based on questions which came out from the theoretical part. As M.
Skutil says the research questions belong to the main points in planning a research
(2011, p.52).
The aim of this research is to evaluate how two different teachers use material
teaching aids in teaching young learners to develop their communication competency.
The main aim of the practical part is to find out which material teaching aids contribute
best to the development of the communication competency and how the two teachers
can take advantage of using these teaching aids.
There are two main questions which are consulted in the practical part. This is based
on the theory of Creswell (in Skutil) who recommends using only one or two main
questions which may be supplied by a maximum of five subquestions (2011, p.53).
The first main question to be answered in the research is: What material teaching
aids do the teachers use to develop the communication competency of young learners?
37
This main question is supported by the following questions. Is the textbook the basic
teaching aid which is used in the primary school? Is it necessary to use a textbook in
teaching young learners? Is using a variety of teaching aids motivational for young
learners? Are various teaching aids available to the teachers?
The second main question to be answered in the research is: How do these material
teaching aids contribute toward the development of the communication competency of
young learners? This second main question is followed by these subquestions. Do these
teaching aids lower the use of mother tongue in the classroom? Do these teaching aids
provide young learners with the English language input? Do these teaching aids support
the development of productive skills? Do these teaching aids contribute to the
development of subskills?
These questions are answered in the research process and they are answered from
different points of view. The results are based on the viewpoint of the teachers who
participated in this research, the learners’ viewpoint is also taken into account and the
data is also supplemented by the observer’s point of view.
6.3. Research Methods
The research in this paper is based on Nunan’s and Skutil’s methods. Nunan
describes research as “a systematic process of inquiry consisting of three elements or
components: 1 a question, problem, or hypothesis, 2 data, 3 analysis and interpretation
of data” (1992, p.3). And he adds that if only one part is missing then it is not a research
but something else. Skalková specifies research method as a purposeful process to
identify or solve something. It is a complex of various cognitive processes and
operations which aim at getting scientific findings (2007, p.19).
These authors speak about two main types of research – qualitative and quantitative
research but they all agree that many authors now come up with a term mixed approach
(Faberová in Skutil, 2011, p.19). It means combining both the approaches. Nunan
describes this distinction as simplistic and naïve (1992, p.3). Faberová (in Skutil)
characterizes a qualitative research as holistically oriented and a quantitative research is
a reductive inquiry (2011, p.18). It is important to overcome the biases of these both
groups. In concrete researches there is a combination of them (Skalková, 2007, p.22).
38
M. Chráska introduces the most important differences between a qualitative oriented
research and a quantitative oriented research. The quantitative oriented research shows
one reality, it contains the explanation of the phenomenon and it concerns the number, a
bigger group of people, generalization and distance. On the other hand, the qualitative
oriented research shows more realities, it contains understanding of the sense and it
concerns the word, the meaning, a smaller group of people, uniqueness and empathy
(2007, p.32,33).
This paper deals with statistical and interpretative analyses of quantitative and
qualitative data and it can be described as a mixed research.
6.4. Research instruments
Every research has to be based on research instruments. For this paper all research
instruments were made by the author of this thesis. These research instruments were
used: a questionnaire, observation, a diary.
The questionnaire is described as the most widespread research instrument in
pedagogy. The aim of the questionnaire is to get data about respondents, but also their
opinions and attitudes towards problems (Bartošová, Skutil in Skutil, 2011, p.80). The
questionnaire is a set of written questions which were created particularly for this paper
by the author. There are a few types of questions – close questions – they offer answers
and the respondent has to choose one. Semi-closed questions – they offer variants as
closed questions but they allow the respondent to explain his/her answer. Open
questions – they do not limit the respondent, which is an advantage. Close questions are
easy to be analyzed, open questions may give more freedom to respondents but they are
more difficult to be analyzed (Bartošová, Skutil in Skutil, 2011, p.82, 83). In this paper
all three types of questions were employed.
Two different questionnaires were made to be used in this paper. One questionnaire
was designed for the two teachers and the second one for the pupils. Both
questionnaires were prepared in the Czech language to make it manageable for both the
teachers and particularly the pupils. As A. Pinter confirms “it is important for teachers
to check the language used in questionnaires. Children may simply misunderstand a
question because they are puzzled by the language used (2006, p.148). It does not
39
concern only a foreign language but also their mother tongue. A. Pinter suggests not to
use words such as disadvantage, benefit or value (2006, p.148). She also adds that it can
be very hard for children to answer open questions, it is much thinking and much hand
writing which can become time-consuming and tiring (2006, p.148). On the basis of
these recommendations only closed questions were chosen for the questionnaire for the
pupils.
Another research instrument was observation. Observation is based on monitoring
and following analyses of events which can be perceived by senses. It is purposeful,
planned, systematic, and controlled. Then it creates standard conditions which ensure
objectivity. It is typical that the researcher does not intervene in an objective reality
(Křováčková in Skutil, 2011, p.101). The observation sheet was created to be used and
it should contain two dimensions – a chronological dimension and contents. The
chronological dimension records chronological sequences of observed events and the
contents contain information about the observed event (2011, p.103). M. Chráska warns
of non-standardized observation which can be caused by observer’s subjectivity and
intuition and he advises to use special observation techniques which lower the level of
subjectivity because if the research is supposed to be reliable and exact it must be as
objective as possible (2007, p.151-153).
The diary was kept by the author of this thesis and it covered all the time period of
this research. Bailey (in Nunan) defines the diary study as “a first-person account of a
language learning or teaching experience, documented through regular, can-did entries
in a personal journal and then analyzed for recurring patterns or salient events” (1992,
p.120).
6.5. Background information
6.5.1. The school
The research took place at an estate elementary school in a town which has a
population of about thirty thousand. It is a big school mostly attended by pupils who
live in the housing estate near the school. It is a panel building which has 19
classrooms, 15 special classrooms, two gyms, a sports facility and a school restaurant.
40
Concerning English language teaching the school offers two language classrooms, one
computer classroom, one multimedia classroom and one special classroom equipped
with an interactive board. Although it is a big school, due to a lower number of pupils
attending the school, not all classrooms are now used for teaching, some classrooms are
used by private companies and a few classrooms are hired by private clubs or
associations. The money earned from this hire is used to improve the equipment of the
school.
In this school year there are 19 classes – 12 classes for primary education and 7
classes for lower-secondary education. The school is attended by 450 pupils. The school
employs 28 teachers. Concerning English language teachers there are four teachers –
two of them are finishing their university study this year, one of them is a qualified
teacher but not for the English language but she is also studying English at university at
the moment and there is one unqualified teacher who has passed the state exam at the
language school. They teach English in all nine grades of the school. There are three
other teachers who teach English, they are qualified teachers for primary education but
not for the English language. They teach English in the first five grades.
The school presents itself as a school which supports foreign languages and it offers
a language class from the third grade and a class with extra lessons of a foreign
language from the sixth grade. The school offers English for pupils in the first and
second grades – it is not included in their classes but these are called English practice
and it is taught in the afternoon after their classes. English conversation is also
organized at school, it is suitable for pupils of the lower-secondary school and it means
two extra lessons for them. And pupils of the eighth and ninth grades were given a
possibility to prepare for the international exam KET and they are very interested in this
course.
As regards the number of English lessons taught a week it varies according to what
class English is taught in. When it is a common class, there are three English lessons a
week. When it is a language class, there are four English lessons a week. Pupils in the
first and second class who attend the English practice have one lesson of English a
week.
41
The school supports foreign language education and it held the English language
Olympics for the whole region this year and it can be proud of its pupils’ results which
were very good among all elementary schools from the region.
6.5.2. School Education Programme
The school teaches according to the programme School for Life. The School
Education Programme (SEP) has been valid since 1st September 2008 and it is based on
the Framework Education Programme. Concerning the English language teaching the
SEP emphasises the communicative ability of pupils which is supported by all grammar
teaching. It aims at developing all competencies. Pupils should be able to understand a
foreigner in common situations and talk to him/her about simple topics. It aims at
developing the communication competency, learning competency and professional
competency. The pupils also learn about English-speaking countries and their cultures
and it deepens the pupils’ tolerance towards other cultures and it develops the social and
personal competency and civic competency. The pupils also work on projects
concerning multi-cultural problems and it develops their problem-solving competency.
The teaching is based on the model of British English but the pupils are also acquainted
with the model of American English.
The SED also describes the cross-curricular topics. Regarding the English language
there are these topics: creativity, meeting people, communication, self-knowledge, selforganisation, self-regulation, interpersonal relationships.
The curriculum is one part of the SEP and it gives more detailed information about
what the pupils should be able to do at the end of every grade. It has three main parts
(columns) and they are a topic, expected outcomes and subject matter and crosscurricular topics. The column ‘topic’ is described very simply. It only introduces the
topics which should be done (e.g. 4th grade – my world, people and communication).
The second column ‘expected outcomes’ comes near the description of what the pupils
should be able to do. There are used verbs such as understand, read, look up, use,
master, write, change, ask. The third column dealing with ‘subject matter and crosscurricular topics’ presents what the pupils are supposed to do in the classroom (e.g.
42
reading texts in the textbook, text translations from the book, description – there is,
there are).
The SEP seems to be very general and does not provide any other detailed
information especially necessary for beginning teachers. But it is accompanied by the
Implementation Plans which can give a more detailed insight into the structure of the
English language teaching. These Implementation Plans are created for every grade and
every grade’s plan is divided into ten months. Every month begins with the introduction
of school actions for that particular month. The plan consists of five columns, the first
column is called school priorities and they are the same for every month and for every
grade. These are tolerance, communication, creativity, responsibility, learning
advisability. The second column deals with the subject matter. It describes basic topics
which are taught in the month (e.g. food, clothes, colours, animals), the third column is
called subject matter concretization and it gives the teacher detailed information about
the subject matter (e.g. which food we like and which food we do not like). The fourth
column concentrates on the methods and forms of work (e.g. work with cards, pair
work, group work), and the last column describes the teaching aids which can be used
for pupils’ work.
All these documents can help the teachers to follow the school curriculum when they
are taken into account altogether.
6.5.3. Teachers
Two teachers, who were willing to answer questions in the questionnaire, took part
in this research and in order to protect their identity their names are not used in this
paper. Because the research instruments in the paper are a questionnaire and observation
the anonymity should be ensured (Průcha in Skutil, 2011, p.26). He adds that the
anonymity is especially important in cases when the respondents could misrepresent the
information in the questionnaire or even give false information (2011, p. 26).
In this paper the two teachers are identified as teacher A and teacher B. Teacher A is
a qualified teacher for primary school, however, she is not an English teacher. She is
thirty nine years old and she has been teaching pupils in grades one to five for thirteen
years. She passed the state exam in English ten years ago. She has been a teacher at this
43
school for nine years. Teacher B is a qualified teacher for the lower-secondary school.
She is forty-three years old and she has been teaching for nineteen years. She has been
teaching English at this particular school for eleven years. Although her teaching
qualification is to teach Chemistry, she also passed the state exam and she teaches
English in the lower-secondary school as well as in the primary school. At the moment
she is studying English at university to be a qualified English language teacher. She
participated in creating the School Education Programme and Implementation Plans.
There is not a qualified English teacher at this elementary school so even though
they are not qualified English teachers, they were chosen for this research because they
have quite a lot of experience in teaching English to young learners.
6.5.4. Classrooms
There are two language classrooms in this school. They both are equipped for
English language teaching. They are not very big rooms but pupils are usually in
smaller groups for language lessons. The group consists of about ten to fourteen pupils
so the size of the classroom is appropriate. The desks are arranged in the shape of a
horseshoe which makes it easier for the teacher to be in touch with all pupils. Because
the classrooms are not very big another arrangement of the desks is nearly impossible.
But pupils spend only some lessons in these classrooms, because there are only these
two language classrooms and because there are many classes and language groups it
means that they spend some lessons in their classrooms which allows them to do group
work or project work because the classroom can be arranged in more forms as it is much
bigger. One of these classrooms is equipped with eighteen sets of headphones so it is
mostly used to practise listening. Next equipment includes a personal computer, a
television, a video and a DVD player, a CD player, a white board and a magnetic board.
The walls are covered with maps of English-speaking countries, large posters showing
rules of English grammar, vocabulary banks, pictures, and posters which were made by
pupils in their project work. These all are to support the teaching process. The second
classroom does not have the sets of headphones but it has a computer, a CD player, a
white board and a magnetic board too.
44
English books, magazines and dictionaries are kept in the teachers’ room and pupils
are able to borrow them as often as they want to.
English lessons can also be held in a multimedia classroom which offers a great
setting for group or project work in the terms of the classroom arrangement. It is
equipped with computers, an interactive board, a projection screen, and an audio and
DVD technology. This classroom is very busy and teachers have to sign in when they
want to go there. It is used especially for presenting films, interactive activities and
project work.
The school offers a computer room to be used for teaching. It has twenty-five
computers and laptops and it is often used for the whole lesson computer-based activity.
The system of its using is the same as of the multimedia classroom, teaches have to sign
in to go there.
English teachers can also get benefit from the second interactive board but this one is
placed in the special classroom for Physics and it can only be used when the classroom
is free.
The school supports language education and the director tries to equip the language
classrooms as good as possible and they are broadly used by all English teachers.
6.5.5. Learners
Four groups of learners were chosen for this research. Two groups are pupils from
the fourth grade – one group is taught by teacher A and in this paper it is labelled as
class 4A – four means grade four and A is teacher A, the second group is taught by
teacher B and it is labelled as class 4B – four means grade four and B is teacher B. The
pupils are ten or eleven years old. Class 4A started learning English in the third grade,
class 4B started with English in the first or second grade. Class 4B is described as a
language class. Class 4A uses the textbook Chit Chat 1, class 4B uses the textbook
Project 1. All pupils are equipped with a student’s book which is provided by the school
and they have to return it at the end of the school year. They buy activity book at the
beginning of the school year. The number of pupils in the class is about the same, there
are fourteen pupils in class 4A and thirteen pupils in class 4B.
45
The other two groups are pupils who learn English in the first grade. They are
marked here as class 1A and 1B. Number one means the first grade and A,B are the two
teachers. These are quite numerous classes – in class 1A there are seventeen pupils and
in class 2A there are sixteen pupils. Both these groups learn from the textbook Cookie
and Friends. The book is not provided by the school, the pupils have to pay for it. The
pupils are six or seven years old and English is an optional subject for them but they
receive marks in the half and at the end of the school year.
6.6. Research time plan
The research time plan was created to organize the research procedures before the
research itself. It was mostly followed as it was planned and here is the time scheme:
Consulting literature
14. 2. – 18. 2.
Agreement with the teachers
21. 2. – 25. 2.
Keeping a personal diary
21. 2. – 22. 4.
Preparing data collection instruments
(observation sheets, questionnaires)
28. 2. – 11. 3.
Observations in the classrooms
14. 3. – 29. 4.
Teachers’ time for questionnaires
4. 4. – 15. 4.
Pupils’ time for questionnaires
4. 4. – 15. 4.
Data analysis
11. 4. – 29. 4.
46
6.7. Research Procedure
6.7.1. Observations
6.7.1.1. Basic information
The time planned to be spent on observation was six weeks. A week before the
beginning I prepared the observation sheet and I agreed with the teachers on all details
about my presence in the classroom. All observed lessons were without my participation
it the teaching process – I only observed the events and did not intervene in them. The
observation was direct – I myself observed the events. It was an evident observation –
all observed people knew they were a part of the research. I visited every class once a
week. This concerns the fourth grade. It was not possible to visit the classes more often
because languages are taught at the same time. It means I visited classes 4A, B six times
each during my research. It was different with the first grade pupils because their
English lessons are only once a week and they are also at the same time so it allowed
me only to see classes 1A and 1B once a fortnight. Finally they were just three lessons
for class 1A and three lessons for class 1B.
I was a little worried about teachers’ feelings, because I did not want them to feel
nervous while being observed but they both have been teaching for quite a long time so
they did not seem to be nervous or influenced by being observed. They even behaved as
the observer was not present there.
When I was observing the teachers I concentrated particularly on teaching aids
which the teachers used during the lessons and how they used them and how they were
perceived by the pupils. I tried to keep detailed records about the time which was spent
on using one teaching aid, the frequency of its use and mainly how the teaching aids
contributed to the development of communication competency. I also tried to observe
how the teachers can benefit from the equipment of the language classrooms.
The observation sheet contained the following information – the date, class, teacher,
number of pupils present in the lesson and what textbook was used. Then it contained
information such as the topic of the lesson and the aim of the lesson. All this
information was to give the observer basic information and the overall view.
47
6.7.1.2. Outcomes
The observation sheet was created to concentrate on the frequency of using particular
teaching aids and the aim if their use so the data was analysed quantitatively as well as
qualitatively. There was a huge difference in seeing the teachers and their teaching aids
in the fourth grade and in the first grade. The lessons in the fourth grade were perceived
by the observer as being more formal and serious whereas the lessons in the first grade
were faster, funnier, more playful and much more enjoyable for the pupils. During the
course of the research more teaching aids were used in the first grade for the benefit of
the teachers and the pupils whereas the number of teaching aids in the fourth grade was
quite limited.
The observation proved the textbook to be the main teaching aid when speaking
about both teachers. They both built the observed lessons on the basis of the textbook
and its topic. The textbook played an important part throughout the whole lessons and
very often it was also used to give the pupils homework. It happened in class 4B that the
textbook was the only teaching aid observed during the whole lesson. The textbook here
means the set of the student’s book (class book) and an activity book.
Concerning the time spent on a particular teaching aid it was the textbook which was
used the most often in both classes 4A and 4B regardless of using Chit Chat or Project
1. The time spent on the use of the textbook is shown in the following graphs 1 and 2.
The textbook was used for different aims. It served as a source of new grammar which
was introduced in the lesson, it provided the pupils with the texts which were read,
translated and worked on. It was a source of exercises where the new grammar and
words were practiced. In combination with a CD it offered the pupils listening activities
and they were able to practice their pronunciation and listening. The activity book was
used as a source of additional exercises and the pupils completed them to improve their
grammar and vocabulary.
48
Graph 1 and 2: The use of the textbook as a teaching aid
The use of the textbook A
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
The use of the textbook B
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
The set of the textbook is often equipped with a CD or a cassette and these were used in
the observed lessons sometimes. Teacher A used the CD only sometimes, she did not do
all listening activities which were provided in the class book, she only chose some of
them. On the other hand teacher B used the CD more often, she did all listening
activities which were given in the class book. The time spent on using the CD in the
lessons is shown in graphs 3 and 4. The aim of using the CD was about the same. The
teachers wanted to show a model of the English language and they supported the pupils
in careful listening so that they acquire better pronunciation, intonation and accent.
Sometimes the listening activity was depreciated due to the large classroom which made
49
it more complicated for the pupils sitting in the back rows to hear clearly. There was a
difference in the recording repetition. Teacher A played one listening activity more
times so that all the pupils could take the most from it whereas teacher B usually played
the recording only once but the pupils seemed to be used to this organisation and they
tried to concentrate on listening a lot.
Graph 3 and 4: The use of the CD as a teaching aid
The use of the CD A
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
The use of the CD B
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
Another observed teaching aid was a set of pictures and posters. This aid was more
frequently used in class 4A and the teacher used a set of flashcards which are a part of
the textbook set Chit Chat. She used the flashcards to introduce new words and to revise
50
words which were learnt in the previous lessons. Teacher B used a poster which showed
different activities and the pupils were supposed to describe what is happening in the
picture and practise the present continuous tense. In both examples the role of the
picture was to offer a visual support to the pupils and draw their attention. The
frequency of the use of the pictures is presented in graphs 5 and 6.
Graph 5 and 6: The use of the pictures as a teaching aid
The use of the pictures A
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
The use of the pictures B
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1 lesson 2 lesson 3 lesson 4 lesson 5 lesson 6
As regards the use of English x Czech it depended on the teaching aid which was used
at the particular time. Both teachers used the Czech language while working in the class
book or the activity book. They explained grammar in the Czech language and
51
especially teacher A explained the pupils what to do in the exercises mostly in Czech.
English was used to check answers or show the pupils the correct pronunciation. Both
teachers used Czech when they introduced the change in activities. English was used a
lot when the teachers used the pictures or posters. It heightened the use of English of the
teachers as well as of the pupils. And as regards the pupils’ involvement it varied a lot
depending on the teaching aid which was used. They were not very interested in
working with the textbook, they did not pay attention, after a few minutes they got
bored, the teachers had to handle with discipline problems and they did not concentrate
much. On the other hand when they worked with the pictures or posters they were much
more interested and cooperative, they tried to use English and they seemed to be more
active. It was similar with listening activities. They concentrated more and they paid
attention.
No other teaching aids were observed in these six lessons in every class. This
corresponds with the pupils’ questionnaires where they admitted that they use other
teaching aids very little or they do not use them at all.
The situation was completely different in the first grade. More teaching aids were
employed in every lesson even though the lesson was only once a week.
The textbook was also a main teaching aid in the lesson but it was used much less and it
was appreciated by the pupils in a completely different way. The pupils were excited
when they could open their class books, they were looking forward to working in it and
it was a help to the teacher. The time spent on working with the textbook in the first
grade is shown in the graphs 7 and 8. Although the textbook is the main teaching aid it
is supported by the use of the CD a lot. The CD is an entire aid in the lesson. It is used
for the beginning and ending of the lesson, it is used for learning new songs, chants and
particularly to learn correct pronunciation, intonation and accent. The pupils were happy
to listen to the CD, they repeated after it, they listened very carefully. They seemed to
be fascinated by hearing the English language. The time which was dedicated to
listening to the CD is shown in graphs 9 and 10. The pupils were excited when they
could hear the CD from the headphones, they repeated all words, songs and chants and
they all fully concentrated on the given activity. They could concentrate because they
were not disturbed by other pupils when they used the headphones.
52
Graph 7 and 8: The use of the textbook as a teaching aid
The use of the textbook A
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
The use of the textbook B
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
53
Graph 9 and 10: The use of the CD as a teaching aid
The use of the CD A
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
The use of the CD B
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
Another frequently used teaching aid in the first grade was a set of pictures and posters
and cards with stories. The flashcards were used to introduce new words and to revise
words. The poster was used to draw pupils’ attention and indicate the change in the
lesson. The story cards were used to support pupils’ understanding while listening to the
story on the CD. These were used throughout the whole lessons and they supported all
activities so that the children could understand much better. They also used their small
cards with pictures, they used them for picture dictation, when they worked in pairs and
for individual work. The time spent on using pictures is shown in graphs 11 and 12.
54
Graph 11 and 12: The use of the pictures as a teaching aid
The use of the pictures A
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
The use of the pictures B
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
The last teaching aid which was observed in these three lessons in every class of the
first grade was the puppet. It was Cookie, the cat and it was used very much. The only
difficulty for the teachers is that there is only one puppet for both classes and so they
have to change in using the puppet. It means that every class has the puppet every
second lesson. The children seemed to be used to this system and they were happy to
see the puppet but they knew where Cookie was when he was not present in their class
and they understood it. It was absolutely clear that the pupils love the puppet. They
were really excited when the teachers used it and the teachers used it as much as
possible. The puppet assisted the teachers at the beginning and ending of the lessons, it
55
indicated the change of an activity, it introduced a new activity and it praised the pupils
when they worked well. The time when the puppet was used is shown in graphs 13 and
14.
Graph 14 and 15: The use of the puppet as a teaching aid
The use of the puppet A
31
30
29
28
27
26
25
24
23
22
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
The use of the puppet B
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
Concerning the use of English it was the puppet which brought the most English into
the classroom. The puppet said hello and goodbye, it gave instructions, it revised words
with the pupils and it provided the pupils with a high language input. Also the pupils
tried hard to speak only English to the puppet and it worked very well. It has to be
admitted that more English input was observed in the first grade than in the fourth
56
grade. The teachers tried to use English much more, with the support of the pictures, the
puppet and gestures. And the pupils understood it. They were big groups and when
somebody did not understand, there was always somebody else who could help.
6.7.1.3. Conclusion
As regards the observation it provided the observer with valuable data about events
which were happening in the classrooms. The observation took six weeks and it
concentrated on using material teaching aids. Two grades were observed – the first
grade and the fourth grade. The results of the observation differed a lot concerning the
use of the teaching aids in connection with the grades. More teaching aids were
observed in the first grade and they were changed more frequently, they kept the lesson
running faster and the lesson was much more enjoyable for the pupils. The basic
teaching aid in the first grade was a textbook but its use was supported by the CD,
pictures, posters and especially the puppet which is admired and loved by the pupils.
The pupils were involved in the lesson all the time, they were looking forward to what
was coming next and they liked all the lessons from the beginning to the end. English
was used in the lessons as much as possible. It was used in connection with the pictures,
CDs and the puppet and the pupils were able to understand basic instructions, words and
phrases. It was the puppet which played the most important role in the language input in
the first grade. It spoke only English and the pupils had to listen carefully and they
could answer only in English, it gave them a big chance to use English.
On the other hand, observation in the fourth grade proved that the textbook is the
main and sometimes the only teaching aid which is used in English language teaching.
The whole lesson is built on the textbook, on its grammar, words and topics. And the
whole lesson is organised to fit the textbook. It is sometimes supplemented with a CD
or pictures but their use is lower than in the first grade. Both teachers use the textbook
very often – every lesson or nearly every lesson. The textbook is designed to develop all
skills and subskills and the teachers rely on the textbook a lot. The School Education
Programme is built on the textbook and it is considered to be an important teaching aid.
As regards the use of mother tongue and English, its use is very low in the fourth grade
and this concerns both teachers. English is used just for basic phrases and introduction
57
of exercises and most of the lesson is conducted in Czech. As regards the pupils’
involvement in the lesson, there was seen a big difference. As mentioned above, the
pupils in the first grade were excited, the pupils in the fourth grade were more passive,
they became bored very quickly and their interest in the lesson was much lower. This
caused more problems with their behaviour and the teachers had to cope with them. The
lessons were more monotonous and the time seemed to run slower. It concerned mostly
the lessons when the only teaching aid was a textbook.
6.7.2. Questionnaire for the teachers
6.7.2.1. Basic information
The questionnaire for the teachers was made by the author and it was to see how the
teachers themselves perceive the questions about using material teaching aids. The
teachers had a period of two weeks to complete this questionnaire and after the
discussion with them it was produced in Czech because they admitted they were not
sure if they were familiar enough with the English terminology. And they also
suggested it would be faster for them to complete it if it was in Czech.
The questionnaire consisted of twenty questions. Nearly all the questions were semiclosed questions. It means that the teachers were asked to choose one possibility which
best described their opinions and attitudes and then they could complete some more
details about the particular question. There were a few questions where the teachers
could choose more possible answers and they were informed about this possibility. The
first part of the questionnaire aimed at textbooks as teaching aids and then there were
other teaching aids mentioned.
The teachers were asked to complete the same questionnaire twice – once concerning
the fourth grade and once concerning the first grade. The aim was to find out if the
grade influences the teachers’ choice of teaching aids. That was the reason why mainly
closed or semi-closed questions were used in the questionnaire so that the teachers
would not get bored or angry while too much writing. The teachers were very
cooperative and promised to express their opinions as well as they could.
58
Although the teachers were asked to complete the frequency of using the teaching
aids, due to the nature of the questionnaire I decided to analyze it qualitatively.
6.7.2.2. Outcomes
While analyzing the questionnaires from the teachers, the answers appeared to be
differed a lot depending on the grade which the teachers took into account. On the basis
of this fact it was decided to deal with these two grades separately. The first part is the
analyses of the fourth grade and the second part deals with the first grade.
The first question was to find out what textbooks the teachers use in the classroom.
Teacher A, who teaches pupils in class 4A (those who started learning English in the
third grade), uses textbook Chit Chat and teacher B, who teaches pupils in class 4B (the
language group – pupils who started learning English in the first or second grade), uses
the textbook Project 1 by Tom Hutchinson. In the second question the teachers were
asked to express how important the textbook is for them in the teaching process. They
could choose from nine possibilities or write their own answer but they both chose the
same possibility that the textbook is important for them but they also use extra materials
for teaching. The importance of the textbook for these two teachers was proved by
observing, they built their lesson on the basis of the content and subject matter of the
textbook. The textbook proved to be an important teaching aid for both teachers. The
third question asked them about the reason why they use the textbook in the classroom.
They were offered seven possibilities and they were allowed to choose more than one
option. Teacher A chose six of seven answers, she has more reasons why to use the
textbook while teacher B circled only three answers. They both agreed on three points –
using the textbook is given by the School Education Programme and it is a source of
activities to practise skills and subskills. Teacher A added that they are the parents who
want their children to use the textbook at school and she uses the textbook (activity
book) as a source of exercises for homework and she admits that using a textbook saves
her time which she can devote to creating more extra materials. Because the textbook
proved to be an important aid the teachers have a lot of reasons to use it. The fourth
question referred the activity book and its role for the teachers. The teachers were given
two possible answers and they both circled both of them. It means they understand the
59
activity book as a source of other exercises to practise grammar and vocabulary and a
source for homework. Teacher A also added that she uses the activity book for testing
vocabulary. But no other details were given by her. The fifth question aimed at the
frequency of activity book usage in the lesson and teacher A said she uses it often,
teacher B uses it only sometimes. Question number six asked them what criteria are
important when they choose the textbook. They were offered nineteen options and they
could choose more than one. They agreed on some criteria – a CD is a part of the set,
there is a clear abstract what subject matter will be taught, the textbook offers practical
English, the topics and vocabulary are suitable for the primary class pupils. It is
important for both teachers to have English-Czech (Czech-English) dictionary included
in the set, and that the textbook fulfils all requirements given by the Framework
Education Programme and the School Education Programme. Beside these answers
teacher A also stated that the price of the textbook has to be available for all parents and
teacher B requires to have a teacher’s book as a part of the set, and the textbook should
have a clear structure. She also appreciates that there are tests and authentic texts and
recordings included. She concludes this point with emphasising the importance to agree
on the choice with other colleagues. In the seventh question they were asked how often
they use a teacher’s book. Teacher A said sometimes and she was more concrete and
added that she uses it to start the new unit. Teacher B uses a teacher’s book very often
but not for planning every lesson. The eighth question followed the previous one and
asked them about the role of the teacher’s book. Teacher A stated it is a source of
information how she can prepare her lesson. Teacher B uses it as a support how to
organize the lesson and she added that it is a source of results of tests and exercises. In
the following question they were asked to decide how often they use a CD which is a
part of the set. Teacher A uses it often, she chooses listening activities according to her
lesson plan. Teacher B uses a CD for all listening activities in the particular unit, she
uses it very much. Question number 10 was linked with the previous question and it was
aimed at the role of a CD. Both teachers agreed on two options – it is a source of spoken
English language and a source to practise correct pronunciation and accent. Teacher A
added that she uses a CD as a source of songs and rhymes. When they were asked about
using a DVD or a video in the following question they both answered that they do not
use any. Teacher A gave a reason that it is not available at school and teacher B thinks
60
that the level of English is very difficult for young learners. Question number 12
concerned using a computer or internet. Both teachers use them but only very little,
teacher A specified the frequency for twice or three times a year and teachers B for four
or five times a year. When they were asked to give reasons why, teacher A mainly
expressed why she uses the computer so little and it is because few materials are
available for young learners and there is only one computer room at school and it is
very busy. Teacher B gave reasons why she uses the computer and that is to work on
projects and do online tests on the internet. The following question was connected with
the computer use and it asked about using CD-ROMs. Both teachers answered
positively, they both use CD-ROMs but very little. It is due to the limited possibility to
use the computer room. Teacher A uses English Starters and Adventurous English and it
is to practise vocabulary in a more enjoyable way for the pupils. Teacher B uses CDROM enclosed to Project 1 set and it is also to practise grammar and vocabulary.
Question number fourteen concerned the interactive board. Teacher A does not use it at
all and she did not give any reasons why not. Teacher B uses it but only twice a year
and the purpose is to practise grammar and vocabulary in a more pleasant way. When
asked about using puppets or teddy bears in the following question both teachers
claimed they do not use any of these. Teacher A said there is no puppet which would
suit the set Chit Chat and teacher B claimed the pupils are too old to be interested in
puppets. The next question was aimed at using picture dictionaries for young learners
and both teachers do not use any and they give the same reason that the school is not
equipped with picture dictionaries. When asked about using pictures, flashcards and
posters in question number seventeen, both teachers admitted they use them. Teacher A
uses flashcards to teach or revise vocabulary, teacher B uses Project 1 posters as a
helping aid to explain or practise grammar or vocabulary. Question number eighteen
was to say if they use any other teaching aids beside those which were mentioned
before. Teacher A wrote down that she sometimes uses her own worksheets to revise
grammar and vocabulary, teacher B does not use any other aids. Questions nineteen and
twenty dealt with the language classrooms and they evaluated the equipment as good or
satisfactory but they both would welcome another language room and their reason is the
same, there are a lot of groups using these two classrooms and with another one they
would have more chances to go there and use all the equipment which the language
61
classrooms offer. Question number twenty-one was free for further comments or
suggestions but both teachers did not complete anything concerning this questionnaire.
As it was already stated at the beginning of this analysis the teachers were asked to
complete two questionnaires and the second one concerned the teaching aids used for
the first grade pupils. The teachers answered the same questions and here is a brief
report of the analysis. They both use the same books in the first grade – Cookie and
Friends. Although this book is recommended for pre-school pupils it is used in the first
grade in the school. Regarding the textbook the teachers’ answers differed a lot. Teacher
A takes the textbook as a help in the teaching process but it is not very important to her.
She added that her pupils like working with the textbook and it saves her time so that
she can prepare some extra materials for her pupils. Although the textbook is not so
important to her, she claims she uses it quite often. On the other hand teacher B
admitted that the textbook is a crucial aid for her. She uses the textbook as a source of
activities to practise subskills especially vocabulary, pronunciation, intonation and
accent. She also admitted that she uses it nearly every lesson. Both teachers partly
agreed on important criteria for choosing a textbook. They consider the teacher’s book
and a CD to be important parts of the textbook, and they also mention suitability for
young learners as a considerable condition. Teacher A also appreciates when the
textbook is colourful and attractive whereas teacher B regards the price and agreement
with other colleagues important. They conclude the questions about the textbook by
comments on teacher’s book. They both often use it and it serves as a source of
activities, information and a support how to organize the lesson. They both use a CD
quite often and it is a source of songs, rhymes and correct pronunciation and accent.
Their answers differ in the question about a DVD or an extra CD. Whereas teacher A
does not use any because the set of Cookie and Friends offers her enough listening
materials, the second teacher uses an extra CD with songs to activate her pupils and to
teach them something new. They both do not use a computer or the internet and teacher
A explains that there are not suitable programs for such young learners. They both
admit that they do not use a CD-ROM or interactive board. On the contrary they both
use a puppet, it is a puppet of Cookie, the cat. But due to having only one puppet at
school they cannot use it in every lesson and they have to share one and use it every
second lesson. They do not use any picture dictionaries. As it was mentioned before the
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school is not equipped with any. But they both use flashcards, pictures and posters
every lesson to play games, to revise words, stories, and to attract pupils. The teachers’
answers differed in the question about using extra materials. Teacher A often uses
photocopiable materials which are a part of the set as a source of other activities.
Teacher B does not use any. They both are satisfied with the equipment of language
classrooms, they emphasize headsets which are very popular with young pupils. And as
already stated above they would appreciate to have another language classroom.
6.7.2.3. Conclusion
This questionnaire supplied information about what teaching aids are used by two
teachers, how often and why they are used as regards teaching English to young
learners. The results proved that the textbook is the basis of both teachers’ teaching and
they have a lot of reasons why to use a textbook as a main teaching aim. It is given by
the Framework Education Programme and the School Education Programme. It offers
the development of all skills and subskills and the teachers rely on it. Using information
technologies (computers, the internet and interactive boards) is limited as the school
does not give many opportunities for its using. There is very small chance to get to the
computer room or rooms with interactive boards. The teachers are dependent on the
equipment of the school. Because the school is not equipped with picture dictionaries,
they just do not use any. Because the school does not provide the teachers with suitable
computer materials for young learners, they do not use computers. The range of material
teaching aids is limited. Although they both teach in the primary school the teaching
aids and the purpose of their use differ in the first and fourth grade a lot.
6.7.3. Questionnaire for pupils
6.7.3.1. Basic information
Children in the fourth grade were asked to answer eighteen questions concerning
teaching material aids in their English lessons. The questionnaire was in Czech as their
level of English is not high enough to be able to complete the questionnaire in English.
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The aim of the questionnaire was to find out how young learners perceive the frequency
of using particular teaching aids and how they appreciate their use. Because the
questionnaire was to be used in the fourth grade it was made as easy as possible for
young learners. It consisted of closed questions only so that it was not too much reading
and too much writing for the pupils.
This questionnaire was carried out in both classes A and B and twenty-three pupils
were involved in the research via the questionnaire. There were twelve pupils in class A
and eleven pupils in class B. When needed, explanations of the questions were provided
by the teacher or the researcher.
Regarding pupils in the first grade, this questionnaire was carried out in the form of
an interview because the pupils’ ability to read is lower and extra explanations and help
were needed.
6.7.3.2. Outcomes
The questionnaire for the pupils was an important research tool as it showed what
teaching aids are used by the teachers and how often and the pupils could also state their
own opinion what teaching aids they like best and which ones they would appreciate to
be used more often. All the gained data proved to be relevant to the whole research as
the pupils agreed or nearly agreed on most questions and it showed a real picture of the
situation.
The data were analysed both statistically and interpretatively according to the nature
of the questions.
The first question aimed at the number of pupils in the classroom and especially the
number of boys and girls as this division could play an important role in the preferences
and perception of particular teaching aids. This division proved not to be very relevant
and the analyses did not show different interests and preferences regarding boys or girls.
Their answers differed only slightly and more between the two classes themselves than
between boys and girls. On the day when the questionnaire was carried out there were
seven boys and five girls in class A and six boys and five girls in class B. The second
question concerned the length of their English learning. The answers confirmed the
division of the pupils into two groups – the language group – ten pupils have been
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learning English since the first grade and one pupil since the second grade. The second
group consists of pupils who have been learning English since the third grade. As the
level of English of these two groups is different, the choice of the textbook is dependent
on this division. It was seen in the third question which asked the pupils which textbook
they use and class A uses Chit Chat textbook whereas the language class B uses Project
1 textbook. This division of groups, as regards teaching aids, was more significant than
division into girls and boys. The fourth question asked the pupils how they like their
textbook. More subjective answers were gained and they varied a lot (see appendix 5).
Question number five aimed at the frequency of using the textbook in the classroom and
it was proved by all pupils from both groups that the textbook is the main teaching aid
and it is used every lesson or nearly every lesson, no other answers were employed. The
pupils perceive the textbook as an everyday tool in their classes (see appendix 5). The
following question obtained subjective answers about how the pupils like using the
textbook in the classroom. The scale of their answers was wider in this case as the
pupils used all possible answers from ‘Yes, I like it very much’ to ‘No, I do not like it’
(see appendix 5). These answers were supported by the following question which
wanted the pupils to say how they perceive the use of the textbook in the classroom.
Their answers varied according to their previous ones and they used all possibilities (see
appendix 5). Questions nine and ten concerned the activity book. All pupils agreed on
these answers and they all confirmed that the textbook is used for individual work in the
classroom (20 pupils), it is also used for common revision in the classroom (18 pupils)
and many pupils agreed that the activity book is often used for homework (see appendix
5). Question number eleven was to find out how often they use a CD/cassette in the
English classroom. All answers were the same, sixteen pupils see the frequency of the
use of a CD as very often, seven pupils perceive it as often (see appendix 5). Regarding
question number twelve ‘How often do you watch a DVD/video in the classroom?’ the
results differed a lot depending on their level of English. Class A stated that they never
watch an English video in the classroom and it was supported by all twelve pupils
present that day whereas pupils in class B admitted they watch a DVD/video sometimes
or rarely (see appendix 5). The following question was aimed at the computer and
internet and there was an agreement among the pupils. It does not matter if they are a
language group, both groups use computers very little (see appendix 5). As regards the
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question about using a puppet or teddy both groups agreed that they do not use any of
these – twenty-three pupils chose the answer never (see appendix 5). More positive
answers were gained in the following question number fifteen which concerned the use
of pictures or posters. These are used in an English lesson quite often, their use depends
on the teacher as class A uses them less than class B (see appendix 5). The question
about using dictionaries in the classroom showed that they are not used at all concerning
class A or they are used very little as regards class B (see appendix 5). Questions
number seventeen and eighteen were aimed at the pupils’ personal opinion and it was to
show which of those teaching aids they would like to use more often and which ones
they like best. The pupils could circle more possibilities and the results proved that the
computers and internet are the most popular teaching aids among the pupils and they
would like to work on them much more than they do. This was agreed by all pupils in
both classes. The second position of their popularity occupies a DVD/video and it is
followed by pictures and postcards. When the pupils were free to choose the most
popular aids the textbook and activity book were not popular at all (see appendix 5).
Regarding the data gained from the pupils in the first grade they proved not to have
relevant significance for this research as all pupils like everything particularly the
puppet of Cookie, the cat and they love everything concerning English. They can not
estimate adequately how often they use particular teaching aids and as a result of this
the first grade is analysed only from the point of view of the teacher and observer (see
teachers’ questionnaire and observation).
6.7.3.3. Conclusion
The questionnaire for the pupils brought relevant information about how the pupils
perceive the use and purpose of particular teaching aids. They gave support to the
results about using the textbook as a main teaching aid. Although the textbook is used
the most often, it is not appreciated by the pupils very positively. They would like to use
computers and the internet more often as a computer is now an everyday part of their
lives. They appreciate using the pictures and posters and they also like listening to CDs.
But the absolute winner of their popularity is a computer and the internet.
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6.7.4. Personal diary
The diary was kept throughout the whole course of this research. It was used as an
extra and supplementary instrument and it served as a helping instrument to see and
understand the events which were happening in the classrooms. Its notes were used
throughout the whole research analyses and it is not analysed in more details.
6.8. Conclusion of the practical part
The practical part aimed at the real situation in the classrooms concerning the use of
various teaching aids to teach English to young learners. The function of the research
was to find out which teaching aids are used, how often they are used and how their use
contributes to the development of the communication competency. The communication
competency is described as the main outcome of teaching foreign languages in the
School Education Programme. Two principle questions were declared at the beginning
of the research and the first one concerned the textbook as a main teaching aid and the
second question was aimed at the development of the communication competency while
using particular teaching aids. Three main instruments were used to gain the data and
they were the questionnaires – one for the teachers and one for the pupils, observation
and a diary. All three instruments were employed throughout the whole research and the
data of the observation and the questionnaire were analysed separately, the diary data
were taken into account continuously while analysing the data.
The research outcomes proved that the textbook is considered to be the most
important teaching aid in English language teaching. It is used very often, the whole
lesson is built on the basis of the textbook and it became an everyday teaching aid for
the teachers and their pupils. The class book is used particularly for school work
whereas the activity book is often used as a source of exercises for homework. The
teacher’s book is also frequently used. It is a source of methodology and extra activities
for the teachers. The textbook is evaluated by the pupils in two completely different
ways. The older pupils in the fourth class do not like using the textbook much but the
pupils in the first class love it and want to work with it as often as possible. According
to the teachers the textbook serves as a good aid to develop the communication
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competency because it covers all skills and subskills, it contains cultural aspects of the
English speaking countries and gives the pupils basic overview about the English
language. It is a source of practical language and it makes the pupils understand and
react in English. The textbook is quipped with a CD and it is often used as a source of
the English language and it is used to practise pronunciation, accent and pupils’
listening. Its use is felt more positively by the pupils than the textbook itself. Another
teaching aid frequently used is a set of pictures, posters and cards. This supports the use
of English because a lower amount of mother tongue is needed when presenting a
picture. The pupils see a picture and hear English words and they do not need
translation. As regards the first grade, one of the most important teaching aid proved to
be a puppet. Not only it is loved by the pupils, it provides them with a high language
input. It speaks only English and when the pupils want to communicate with it they also
have to use only English. It is frequently used and it essentially contributes to the
development of the communication competency. No other teaching aids were observed
in the course of the research and there are several reasons. Either they are not provided
by the school or they are not suitable for young learners.
7. Conclusion
Teaching aids were introduced in this thesis particularly regarding English language
teaching and young learners. When teachers plan their lessons and prepare teaching aids
they have to take into account that these are to be used with young learners. They
should not be chosen randomly, they should always be chosen to fulfil the aim of the
lesson and to contribute to the development of communication competency. This
competency is the overall outcome of the School Education Programme concerning
teaching English as a foreign language. The research was a part of the practical part and
its aim was to find out what teaching aids are used in English language teaching and
how they are used by teachers and perceived by learners and how they contribute the
development of that communicative competency. The research proved the textbook to
be the main teaching aid and other aids which the textbook is accompanied by such
CDs, pictures. The research showed that a limited number of teaching aids is used.
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8. Resumé
V současné době dochází ke změnám v mnoha oblastech společenského života a to i
v oblasti vzdělávání. Tyto změny nejsou patrné pouze v České republice, ale velkými
proměnami prochází země na celém světě. Mezinárodní hranice se rozpadají a lidé mají
větší možnosti navázat kontakty s jinými lidmi, kulturami a jazyky díky cestování a
novým komunikačním technologiím. Tato tzv. globalizace světa je moderním a někdy
kontroverzním trendem, který je spuštěn a nelze ho zastavit a vede k zavedení termínu
globální jazyk, kterým se automaticky stává angličtina, jako nejrozšířenější světový cizí
jazyk. Důležitým časovým mezníkem pro Českou republiku byl vstup do Evropské unie
a následné přejímání evropských trendů a postojů stejně jako vzdělávacích modelů.
Tento proces vedl k vyšší potřebě jazykové vybavenosti obyvatel nejenom České
republiky a Evropské unie, ale celého světa. Vlády musely na tyto nové skutečnosti
reagovat a mnoho vzdělávacích systémů prošlo velkými změnami.
Co se týče České republiky, výuka anglického jazyka se stala vládní a ministerskou
prioritou a bylo učiněno mnoho kroků k její realizaci na školách. Celá vzdělávací
politika prošla výraznou změnou a ta přinesla mnoho změn v pohledu na celý vyučovací
proces. Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy přichází s novou koncepcí pojetí
kurikula a ve spolupráci s Výzkumným ústavem pedagogickým přichází s Rámcovým
vzdělávacím programem který upravuje vzdělávání v České republice. Na základě
tohoto programu školy vytváří svůj Školní vzdělávací program a jeho cíle začínají
naplňovat. Jako součást těchto programů se začíná užívat termín klíčové kompetence a
naplňování klíčových kompetencí. Tento vzdělávací program definuje klíčové
kompetence jako souhrn dovedností, vědomostí, postojů a hodnot důležitých pro osobní
rozvoj a uplatnění každého člena společnosti. Co se týká výuky žáků na základní škole,
jsou představeny tyto klíčové kompetence: kompetence k učení, kompetence k řešení
problémů, kompetence komunikativní, kompetence sociální a personální, kompetence
občanské a kompetence pracovní. Pro výuku anglického jazyka je směrodatný rozvoj
především kompetence komunikativní, což je zdůrazněno i ve Školním vzdělávacím
programu ze kterého se vycházelo v této diplomové práci a všechny aktivity spojené
s výukou cizího jazyka by měly přispívat k jejímu rozvoji. Cizím jazykem číslo jedna se
stává anglický jazyk, jehož výuka je povinná na všech základních školách.
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Rámcový vzdělávací program stanovuje počátek výuky cizího jazyka na třetí ročník
základní školy s možností rozšíření výuky cizího jazyka od první třídy. Tato možnost je
dnes už využívána na mnoha školách a výuka anglického jazyka v první třídě není ničím
neobvyklým, ale začíná se stávat vzrůstajícím trendem. Školy jsou nuceny na tento
trend reagovat a zavádí výuku do prvních tříd základních škol. Nejedná se o výuku
v pravém slova smyslu, výuka je většinou realizována formou kroužků, nepovinných
předmětů nebo zájmových aktivit. Pro mnoho škol tímto krokem vyvstal problém
nedostatku kvalifikovaných učitelů, kteří by mohli učit jazyk na druhém stupni základní
školy, ale i na prvním stupni. Výuka je často řízena učitelem, který je buď aprobovaný
pro výuku na druhém stupni, nebo učitelem, který je sice aprobovaný pro první stupeň,
ale není kvalifikovaný pro výuku anglického jazyka. Pokud tedy učitel učí jak na
druhém, tak na prvním stupni, měl by si být vědom rozdílů mezi dětmi a měl by na tyto
rozdíly adekvátně reagovat. To se týká přípravy celého vyučovacích procesu a také
didaktických prostředků, které bude ve své výuce využívat. Tato diplomová práce se
zabývá materiálními didaktickými prostředky, které mohou přispívat k rozvoji
komunikativní kompetence v souvislosti s výukou anglického jazyka na prvním stupni.
V první části této diplomové práce jsou popsáni žáci prvního stupně a to jak
z pohledu jejich vývoje, tak z pohledu možnosti výuky cizího jazyka v raném věku.
Existuje mnoho studií zabývající se výhodami a nevýhodami výuky cizího jazyka u
malých dětí, tento trend má nejenom mnoho zastánců, ale i odpůrců. Odborníci tvrdí, že
za použití adekvátních metod, technik a prostředků lze docílit velkého rozvoje
komunikativní kompetence u dětí, které začnou s výukou jazyka už v první třídě.
Jako didaktické prostředky se označuje vše, co je využito ve výuce a vede k dosažení
cíle vyučovací hodiny a celého procesu. V souvislosti s výukou malých dětí byly v této
diplomové práci představeny tyto materiální didaktické prostředky: učebnice, a to jak
učebnice samotná, tak i pracovní sešit a metodická příručka pro učitele, dále CD popř.
DVD, které už dnes bývají standardní součástí výukové sady, obrázky a plakáty, loutky
nebo plyšoví medvídci, obrázkové slovníky a zejména nejmodernější didaktické
prostředky jako je počítač, internet, CD-Rom nebo interaktivní tabule. V teoretické části
byly všechny tyto didaktické prostředky představeny a detailně popsány v souvislosti
s možností jejich využití pro rozvoj komunikativní kompetence. Protože se mění a stále
vyvíjí celý svět kolem nás, vyvíjí se a zlepšují i didaktické prostředky a i učitelé musí na
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tyto změny zareagovat. Zejména nejmodernější prostředky mají mnoho zastánců, ale
také kritiků, kteří nevidí účel a význam v používání např. počítačů nebo internetu při
výuce anglického jazyka. Ale i škola musí reagovat na rostoucí trendy a nyní žijeme
v době počítačů a informačních technologií, které se staly naprosto nedílnou součástí
našich životů a jsou zde každodenně přítomné. Proto, i když je počítač používán např.
jen na procvičení dalších cvičení, jeho úloha je zásadní. Protože počítač je součástí
každodenního života všech žáků, většinou přistupují k počítači velmi pozitivně a
s nadšeným očekáváním a je na učiteli, zda tohoto stavu dokáže využít. Jak ale
vyplynulo z praktické části této diplomové práce, jejíž součástí byl výzkum, který se
zabýval právě tímto využíváním materiálních didaktických prostředků, počítače a
moderní technologie nejsou téměř vůbec využívány k výuce anglického jazyka na
prvním stupni a pokud ano, tak jen velmi málo. Podle tohoto výzkumu je důvodem
nedostupnost vhodných výukových materiálů na základní škole, nebo malá kapacita
počítačové učebny. Jako nejrozšířenější didaktický prostředek se ukázala být učebnice.
Ta se řadí ke klasickým didaktickým prostředkům, ale jak je patrno ve výsledcích
výzkumu, je stále hlavním prostředkem, který je ve výuce používán. A to nejen ve
čtvrtém ročníku, který se stal základem pro tento výzkum, ale také v první ročníku, kde
je anglický jazyk vyučován pouze formou odpoledního kroužku. Do tohoto výzkumu
byly zahrnuty dvě učitelky, které samy přiznaly, že je pro ně učebnice hlavním zdrojem
pro výuku, plánování výuky a dosahování vzdělávacích cílů a pro podporu využití
učebnice si našly mnoho důvodů. Velmi důležitou roli z hlediska didaktických
prostředků nehraje pouze samotná učebnice, ale také pracovní sešit, který je součástí
výukové sady. Ten slouží k dalšímu procvičování učiva ve škole, ale jeho zásadní
funkce je zdroj cvičení pro zadávání domácích úkolů. U žáků si ale učebnice ani
pracovní sešit velkou oblibu nezískaly. Dalším využívaným prostředkem je zdroj
skutečného anglického jazyka ve formě poslechů a to je CD. CD je většinou také
součástí celé sady a jeho výhodou je, že poslechy a cvičení jsou upraveny pro danou
úroveň žáků a umožňuje jim tak dosáhnout úspěchu porozumění mluvenému slovu.
Podle závěrů výzkumu i CD je využívaným prostředkem, jež slouží především jako
zdroj skutečného anglického jazyka. CD je u žáků oblíbenější než samotná učebnice.
V souvislosti s CD byl představen další prostředek, audio-vizuální DVD. Velkou
výhodou DVD je fakt, že mluvené slovo je doprovázeno obrazem, což umožňuje vyšší
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míru porozumění než jen samotný poslech. Jak ale ukázal výzkum, ani DVD není
rozšířeným didaktickým prostředkem pro výuku angličtiny na prvním stupni. Jako
důvod byla uvedena obtížná úroveň těchto materiálů a opět jejich nedostatek ve škole.
Výsledky rozborů dotazníku pro žáky ale potvrdily, že DVD patří mezi jejich oblíbené
prostředky a že by uvítali, pokud by bylo DVD zařazováno do výuky častěji. Nejedná se
o pouhé sledování televize, žáci mohou získat základní informace i o anglickymluvících zemích, o jejich tradicích a zvycích, o tom, co např. jedí nebo jaké oblečení
nosí. Jedná se tedy o rozvoj komunikativní kompetence nejenom po stránce jazykové,
ale i kulturní. Dalším didaktickým prostředkem, který byl popsán v teoretické části, byla
loutka (plyšový medvídek). Loutka je zejména populární mezi dětmi a její využití ve
výuce může zásadně přispět ke zvýšení jazykové úrovně žáků. Využití loutky může
velmi výrazně snížit používání mateřského jazyka a zvýšit používání anglického jazyka.
Loutka slouží jako učitelův pomocník, který uvádí a končí hodinu, představuje nová
slovíčka a gramatické struktury, indikuje změnu aktivit během hodiny, ale také může
sloužit jako uklidňující a utišující prostředek zejména v souvislosti s velmi malými
dětmi. Na základě výzkumu bylo zjištěno, že loutka se používá pro výuku v první třídě.
Důvodem, proč se nepoužívá i ve vyšších ročnících byl fakt, že buď jsou děti na loutku
už příliš velké, nebo k dané sadě učebnic již loutka není nabízena. Faktem ale zůstává,
že loutka je u dětí velmi oblíbená, žáci v první třídě ji milují a těší se na každou hodinu,
kdy ji uvidí. Podle výzkumu by i starší děti uvítaly, kdyby učitelé používali loutky ve
výuce. Nepostradatelným didaktickým prostředkem jsou i obrázky a plakáty. Dnes je
většina sad učebnic již vybavena sadou karet, které jsou přímo určeny k použití
v hodinách a jejich úloha je nezastupitelná. Obrázky mohou podobně jako loutka sloužit
k představení nové slovní zásoby, k jejímu procvičování a zkoušení. Velkou výhodou
obrázků je to, že význam slovíček je na nich znázorněn graficky a není potřeba
mateřského jazyka pro překlad. To umožňuje vyšší možnost použití angličtiny ve výuce.
Průzkum ukázal, že obrázky jsou důležitým a běžně používaným prostředkem ve výuce
na prvním stupni a obrázky jsou pozitivně přijímány i dětmi. V teoretické části této
diplomové práce byla zmíněna i výhoda interaktivní tabule, která se pomalu začíná
dostávat i do českých škol. Tento proces je pomalejší z důvodu vysokých finančních
nákladů na pořízení této tabule, ale ta poté může být využívána k procvičování jazyka
zábavnější formou a může se tak stát významným motivačním prostředkem. Podle
72
průzkumu není na prvním stupni zatím nijak výrazně využívána, ale to může být dáno i
tím, že se jedná o relativně nový materiální didaktický prostředek, který si zatím své
místo ve výuce získává. Posledním prostředkem, kterým se tato práce zabývala byly
slovníky a jejich využití v hodině. Slovník je nedílnou součástí výuky cizího jazyka, ale
s ohledem na věk dětí a jejich schopnosti číst a vyhledávat podle abecedy, byly
představeny obrázkové slovníky. Na trhu je dnes velké množství obrázkových slovníků,
které jsou určeny již pro velmi malé žáky. Slovíčka jsou většinou rozdělena do skupin
podle témat. Výzkum ale ukázal, že tyto slovníky nejsou používány, zejména proto, že
ve škole nejsou k dispozici. Škola disponuje pouze klasickými překladovými slovníky,
které ale nejsou vhodné pro žáky na prvním stupni základní školy.
V teoretické části byly představeny všechny tyto materiální didaktické prostředky i
s jejich potenciálem pro rozvoj komunikativní kompetence u žáků prvního stupně
základní školy. Jak ale ukázal výzkum, ne všechny jsou používány při výuce.
Cílem vyučovací hodiny nemá být použití všech dostupných didaktických
prostředků, ale použití různých didaktických prostředků by mělo sloužit k naplňování
cílů vyučovací hodiny.
73
9. Bibliography
BREWSTER, J., ELLIS, G., GIRARD, D. The Primary English Teacher’s Guide.
Pearson Education Limited, 2002. ISBN 978-0-582-44776-9.
CAMERON, Lynne. Teaching Languages to Young Learners. Cambridge : Cambridge
University Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-521-77434-5.
CHRÁSKA, Miroslav. Metody pedagogického výzkumu. Praha : Grada, 2007. ISBN
978-80-247-1369-4.
HALLIWELL, Susan. Teaching English in the Primary Classroom. Pearson Education
Limited, 1992. ISBN 978-0-582-07109-4.
HARMER, Jeremy. The practice of English Language Teaching. 3rd edition. Pearson
Education Limited, 2001. ISBN 0 582 40385 5.
HELUS, Zdeněk. Dítě v osobnostním pojetí. Praha : Portál, 2004. ISBN 80-7178-888-0
KALHOUS, Z., OBST, O., et al. Školní didaktika. Praha: Portál, 2002. ISBN 80-7178253-X.
LUKÁŠOVÁ, Hana. Kvalita života dětí a didaktika. Praha : Portál, 2010. ISBN 978-807367-784-8.
MOON, Jayne. Children Learning English. Oxford : Macmillan Education, 2005. ISBN
978-1-4050-8002-6.
NUNAN, David. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge : Cambridge
University Press, 1992. ISBN 0 521 42968 4.
PETTY, Geoffrey. Moderní vyučování. 5. vyd. Praha : Portál, 2008. ISBN 978-807367-427-4.
PHILLIPS, Sarah. Young Learners. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 13:
978 0 19 437195 7.
PIAGET, J., INHELDEROVÁ, B. Psychologie dítěte. 5. vyd. Praha : Portál, 2010.
ISBN 978-80-7367-798-5.
PINTER, Annamaria. Teaching Young Language Learners. Oxford : Oxford University
Press, 2006. ISBN 978 0 19 442207 0.
POKORNÝ, Adam . Nebojme se interaktivních technologií. Rodina a škola. Září 2007,
LIV, 7, s. 24-26. ISSN 0035-7766.
PRŮCHA, Jan. Moderní pedagogika. 3. vyd. Praha : Portál, 2005. ISBN 80-7367-047X.
REILLY, Vanessa. Cookie and Friends – Teacher’s Book A. Oxford : Oxford
University Press, 2005. ISBN 13: 978 0 19 407008 9.
REILLY, V., WARD, S.,M. Very young learners. Oxford : Oxford University Press,
1997. ISBN 978 0 19 437209 1.
ŘÍČAN, Pavel. Cesta životem. 2. vyd. Praha : Portál, 2006. ISBN 80-7367-124-7.
SCOTT, W., A., YTREBERG, L., H. Teaching English to Children. Longman Group
UK Limited, 1990. ISBN 0582 74606 X.
SHIPTON, P., BRADSHAW, C. Chit Chat – Metodická příručka 1. Oxford : Oxford
University Press, 2002. ISBN 13: 978 0 19 437833 8.
SKALKOVÁ, Jarmila. Obecná didaktika. Praha : Grada, 2007. ISBN 978-80-247-18217.
SKUTIL, Martin, el al. Základy pedagogicko-psychologického výzkumu pro studenty
učitelství. Praha : Portál, 2011. ISBN 978-80-7367-778-7.
SLATTERY, Mary. Teaching with Bear. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN
978 0 19 443301 3.
SLATTERY, Mary. Incredible English – Teacher’s Book 1. Oxford : Oxford University
Press, 2007. ISBN 978 0 19 444019 6.
SLATTERY, M., WILLIS, J. English for Primary Teachers. Oxford : Oxford
University Press, 2001. ISBN 13: 978 0 19 437563 4.
ŠIMONÍK, Oldřich. Úvod do školní didaktiky. Brno : MSD, 2003. ISBN 80-86633-047.
VÁGNEROVÁ, Marie. Vývojová psychologie. Praha : Portál, 2000. ISBN 80-7178308-0.
VALE, D., FEUNTEUN, A. Teaching Children English. Cambridge : Cambridge
University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-521-42235-2.
VETEŠKA, J., TURECKIOVÁ, M. Kompetence ve vzdělávání. Praha : Grada, 2008.
ISBN 978-80-247-1770-8.
WRIGHT, Andrew. Creating Stories with Children. Oxford : Oxford University Press,
1997. ISBN 0 19 437204 9.
Internet resources
FORSYTH, Ian ; JOLLIFFE, Alan; STEVENS, David . Planning a course: practical
strategies for teachers, lecturers and trainers [online]. 2nd edition. London : Kogan
Page
Limited,
1995
[cit.
2011-04-25].
Dostupné
z
WWW:
http://books.google.com/books?id=VpgyxxQ0LTgC&pg=PA98&dq=teaching+aids&hl
=cs&ei=PmJhTeSWM9CL4gbpkr3gCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1
0&ved=0CFcQ6AEwCTgo#v=onepage&q=teaching%20aids&f=false
ISBN
0749428074.
SMITH, David Gordon ; BABER, Eric . Teaching English with information technology
[online].
[s.l.] :
[s.n.],
2005
[cit.
2011-01-12].
Dostupné
z
WWW:
<http://books.google.com/books?id=sHGJc66R0hMC&pg=PA49&dq=CDROMs+in+English+Language+teaching&hl=cs&ei=GkIKTtcG4PKsgaj_fyqDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEw
AA#v=onepage&q=CDROMs%20in%20English%20Language%20teaching&f=false>.
Interaktivní školní tabule [online]. [cit. 2011-06-25]. Interaktivní školní tabule.
Dostupné z WWW: <http://www.interaktivni-skolni-tabule.cz/>.
HANUŠOVÁ, Světlana ; NAJVAR, Petr. Výuka cizího jazyka v raném věku.
Pedagogická orientace [online]. 2007, 3, [cit. 2011-02-15]. Dostupný z WWW:
<http://www.ped.muni.cz/pedor/archiv/2007/Pedor07_3_VyukaCizihoJazykaVRanemV
eku_HanusovaNajvar.pdf>.
Internet do škol [online]. 2001 [cit. 2011-03-28]. Internet do škol. Dostupné z WWW:
<http://www.indos.cz/oprojektu/>.
Framework Education Programme for Elementary Education. [online], VÚP. Praha.
2007, [cit.
2010-10-15]. Dostupný z WWW: http://www.vuppraa.cz/ramcove-
vzdelavaci-programy/zakladni-vzdelavani
10. Appendix
List of appendices:
Appendix 1: School Education Programme
Appendix 2: Observation sheet
Appendix 3: Questionnaire for the teachers
Appendix 4: Questionnaire for the pupils
Appendix 5: Graphs – outcomes of pupils’ questionnaires
Appendix 1: School Education Programme
Appendix 2: Observation sheet
Appendix 3: Questionnaire for the teachers
Appendix 4: Questionnaire for the pupils
Appendix 5: Graphs – outcomes of pupils’ questionnaires
4 Do you like the textbook? A
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
I like it very
much
I like it
I do not like it I do not like it
much
al all
5 How often do you use the
textbook? A
very little
sometimes
often
nearly
every
lesson
every
lesson
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
6 Do you like working with the
textbook? A
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
yes, a lot
yes
not much
no
7 Work with the textbook is ... A
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
funny
boring
only duty at
school
8 How often do you use the activity
book at school? A
never
sometimes
often
nearly
every
lesson
every
lesson
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
10 How often do you use the activity
book for homework? A
ne
ve
r
ra
re
ly
so
m
et
im
es
te
n
of
ve
ry
of
te
n
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
11 How often do you use a CD? A
ne
ve
r
tle
lit
ry
ve
so
m
et
im
es
n
of
te
ve
ry
ev
er
y
le
ss
on
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
12 How often do you watch a DVD?
A
ve
r
ne
lit
tle
ve
ry
es
et
im
m
of
te
n
so
ve
ry
of
te
n
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
13 How often do you work on the
computer/internet? A
10
8
6
4
2
ve
r
ne
lit
tle
ve
ry
so
m
et
im
es
n
of
te
ve
ry
of
te
n
0
14 How often do you use a
puppet/teddy? A
ve
r
ne
lit
tle
ve
ry
so
m
et
im
es
n
of
te
ve
ry
of
te
n
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
15 How often do you use
pictures/posters? A
ne
ve
r
lit
tle
ve
ry
te
n
of
so
m
et
im
es
ve
ry
of
te
n
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
ok
te
r
pu
pp
et
s
pi
ct
ur
es
di
ct
io
na
rie
s
pu
DV
D
CD
bo
ok
bo
co
m
ity
ss
ac
tiv
cla
ok
te
r
pu
pp
et
s
pi
ct
ur
es
di
ct
io
na
rie
s
pu
DV
D
CD
bo
ok
bo
co
m
ity
ss
ac
tiv
cla
m
es
n
n
ne
ve
r
lit
tle
et
im
of
te
of
te
ve
ry
so
ve
ry
16 How often do you use
dictionaries? A
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
17 Which of these would you like to
use more often? A
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
18 Which of these do you like best?
A
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
4 Do you like the textbook? B
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
I like it very
much
I like it
I do not like it I do not like it
much
at all
5 How often do you use the
textbook? B
very little
sometimes
often
nearly
every
lesson
every
lesson
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
6 Do you like working with the
textbook? B
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
yes, a lot
yes
not much
no
7 Work with the textbook is ... B
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
funny
boring
only duty at
school
8 How often do you use the activity
book at school? B
never
sometimes
often
nearly
every
lesson
every
lesson
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
10 How often do you use the activity
for howework? B
ne
ve
r
ra
re
ly
te
n
of
so
m
et
im
es
ve
ry
of
te
n
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
11 How often do you use a CD? B
ne
ve
r
tle
lit
ry
ve
n
of
te
so
m
et
im
es
ev
er
y
ve
ry
le
ss
on
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
12 How often do you watch a DVD?
B
ne
ve
r
lit
tle
ve
ry
so
m
et
im
es
ve
ry
of
te
n
of
te
n
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
13 How often do you work on the
computer/internet? B
10
8
6
4
2
ve
r
ne
lit
tle
ve
ry
es
et
im
m
of
te
n
so
ve
ry
of
te
n
0
14 How often do you use a
puppet/teddy? B
ve
r
ne
lit
tle
ve
ry
so
m
et
im
es
n
of
te
ve
ry
of
te
n
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
15 How often do you use
pictures/posters? B
ne
ve
r
lit
tle
ve
ry
so
m
et
im
es
te
n
of
ve
ry
of
te
n
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
16 How often do you use
dictionaries? B
ne
ve
r
lit
tle
ve
ry
te
n
of
so
m
et
im
es
ve
ry
of
te
n
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
di
c
ok
tu
re
s
tio
na
rie
s
pi
c
r
s
te
pu
pp
et
pu
DV
D
CD
bo
ok
bo
co
m
ity
ss
ac
tiv
cla
ok
te
r
pu
pp
et
s
pi
ct
ur
es
di
ct
io
na
rie
s
pu
DV
D
CD
bo
ok
bo
co
m
ity
ss
ac
tiv
cla
17 Which of these would you like to
use more often? B
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
18 Which of these do you like best?
B
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Fly UP