The Research of the Reading Behaviors of Children – Education Essay
This is our research on students’ reading progress. We’ll tell the difference between Nelson and Brad’s reading habits and the way they solve while encountering the problem. In the procedure of the research, we will acquire
information from them.In this paper, we will describe our respondents about their personality, lifebackgrounds , reading habits ,etc . Secondly, we’ll describe how we use the strategies to the setting in which we did the research. Third, we’ll tell you we use what kind of the methods and procedures in doing the research. It’s kind of difficult but interesting .There are three parts of procedures, inclusive of two interviews and one reading program . It takes a long time and we establish good friendships with kids . In the end, we’ll discuss the analysis of respondents’ belief and comparison between the good learner and bad learner.
Context of Study
Our purpose of the three interviews is to get some information about the respondents. By observing this information, we can analysis their activities by what we learn in SLA course.
The names of our respondents are Nelson and Brad. Both of them are the fourth grade students. Nelson is the better respondent. He has a twelve-year-old brother. Nelson tells us that he will consult his mom when he has difficulties in reading English. In the first interview on November 16th, he is too shy to answer the questions completely. In his free time, he often reads English fairy-tales and cartoons. We did the interview and reading in the Fu-shin elementary school. In the meanwhile, our classmates and their kids were there as well. In the first interview, we asked some questions like “Do you like English” or “Do you like your English teacher. And both of them said “Yes”. So we thought that they have interest in English learning. Basically, the method we use to hit the topic is chatting. In one hand, because these questions were kind of serious, it’s easier to get the data and information from them by this way. On the other hand we could also cease their nervous affection as well. In the first interview, perhaps we were not familiar with each other. They were shy and nervous. They couldn’t understand what we asked. In the beginning, they couldn’t reply us politely . We had to use some strategies or other questions to make them say the right answer. In the procedure, we took notes and recorded as well. Afterwards, they were getting to understand our questions and answered patiently. By the way, Brad is out-going, he always ran here and there. He often made the interview out of control .But he liked to help
Nelson answers questions and then interrupts the interview.
The second time we bring them some story books for them to read. The date is on November 30th. But finally they choose the book called “Bunny is on the beach.” It’s full of many pictures and few words. It has some special devices in this book as well. For example, when you read the page one, you will find out an animal ‘s tail appear from the page two .We can use these devices to provoke their imagination and curiosity in English and lead them to guess what the next word meaning was .Basically , the numbers of word they understand are definitely few . However, Nelson knew more than Brad. When Brad encountered some words he didn’t know, he can only read the first letter of the word.
There was a time we read the whole sentence to him. He repeated after us though he was totally wrong. But Nelson will say he doesn’t know and he will not give a guess anymore. In the reading procedure, they’ll guess what the next thing is in Chinese. It’s because of the words they know are a few. We also read it in Chinese to make them interested .We taught vocabularies from pictures. This way will make them deeply impressed.
Analysis of reading belief of our respondents:
According to the information of the interview and the story books reading, we have known that their English abilities are apparently different. Nelson told us that he always asked his mother when he encountered something he didn’t know. Therefore, he rarely turned for his teacher’s help. In addition, he didn’t ask what was the meaning of some words he didn’t know when we read the story book. According to Rubin, high-risk takers have keen desire of association and dare show their shortages in front of people. (???????,??? p229) By
observing this situation, we can figure out he isn’t a high-risk taker, because he is hardly giving a guess when he reads and in the procedure of the reading, perhaps his personality is very shy.
While we were asking Nelson some questions about his reading habits, he told us he will look up the dictionary by himself when his mother didn’t stay with him. We asked why he wanted to check the dictionary, he told us he wanted to find the correct answer (daren’t ask the teacher, maybe). According to the whole language theory, learners will correct themselves, and the teachers needn’t to correct them. It can be applied to Nelson’s behavior. He wants to find the correct answer means he is correcting himself.
Moreover, in the first interview, we asked them how do they feel about their English course. Nelson said it’s interesting, but Brad said he feels kind of bored and dizzy. And they both told us they wouldn’t ask the teacher initiatively. They only followed what the teacher taught and memorizes it. This can be explained to be the behaviorism. According to the behaviorist learning theory, L2 learner imitated models of correct language and receive positive reinforcement if they were correct and negative reinforcement if they were incorrect.(Second Language Acquisition, Rod Ellis) The two respondents only can follow and imitate what the teachers teach them. It’s applied to behaviorism.
Before we asked Brad to read the story book “Bunny is on the Beach,” we asked him whether he can pronounce the sentence. And he told us he cannot and could only understand the first letter “B.” Then we asked if he could pronounce the word “bunny,” he told us he couldn’t as well. In the end, we decided to teach him how to pronounce the sentence, and request him repeat after us. After we heard his repeat, we figure out that his pronunciation was not correct, and badly wrong. And we think there is a clear Taiwanese sound in it. It’s kind of interesting. We can figure out that as soon as Brad heard our assent and being asked to repeat after us, his pronunciation is influenced by his L1 assent, the Taiwanese sound. Perhaps it’s an apparent example of the relationship between L1 and L2 language.
The comparison between our respondents:
During the period of the interview , we find out that Nelson (the good student) is kind of shy but still has the foundation of the English ability . For example , we let them read the book “Bunny on the beach” Nelson can spell and speak the whole vocabulary “Beach” completely . On the other hand , Brad can just spell
the letter “B” . He can’t tell the difference between the vocabulary and letter. We think that it’s the reason why he is the bad achievement student. A good English-learning way depends on the whole-sentence memorizing. Nelson is a shy boy who is reserved but likes reading in quiet surroundings. Brad is over-active and doesn’t pay attention to reading. While we were doing the interview and recording, Brad always interrupted our conversation and couldn’t be attentive enough. Above all, Brad is born in a poor family. His father is a truck driver and sometimes takes a part-time job. His mom is a housekeeper but doesn’t take responsible well for educating and raising his children. Brad tells us that his mom likes eating betel-nuts and sometimes become drunken heavily, trying to hit him. When Brad runs into troubles of English-learning, he couldn’t consult his parents. Therefore, he tells us that he sometimes cheat on the examination because he has no idea on how to answer questions. No one can give him a hand. We really trust firmly that parents play important role in children’s education . On the contrary, Nelson seems to have a better family. His mom is a Malaysian and take full responsibility of educating her children (His father is a cook in chief ) . Perhaps his mom is a good linguist . She can speak a variety of language , including Mandarin , English and her mother tongue – Malay . We think that it’s really helpful for Nelson ‘s education in the future . While Nelson was encountering problems , he would ask for his mom’s help . We think this kind gap of education will become more along with the ages. Authorities concerned should put emphasis on improving English-learning environment in Hualien.
After the interview, we find out more English-learning questions from these students and the experience definitely broadens our horizons. We can make use of the theory from the textbook to let students learn English more easily and boost their English ability fast. The second language should be started from the kids. Therefore, the teacher plays an important role in English – learning. As a teacher in the future, we can learn how to help students when they encounters English – learning problems.
Compared with students in the metropolis of Taiwan, kids in Hualien seem to be lacking in confidence and curiosity. Unlike students in cities, they don’t like asking questions or reply your problems passionately. Most of them aren’t high-risk takers. What’s more, it’s evident that their English ability is worse than children in Kaohsiung , Taichung , or Taipei . Sad to say , the majority of them weren’t born in a rich family which can afford to invest enough money in children’s education . Their parents are cooks, drivers or even unemployed. Authorities concerned should put more emphasis on children’s education in Hualien or their ability will become worse than children in cities. People should take the problem seriously and cope with it ASAP.
By the way, we are kind of amazed at the first sight of Fu-shin elementary school because we can see many sign in English here and there. Take the toilet for example, you can find out “Wash your hand clearly” or “Boy & Girl”. Although the vocabulary isn’t hard, this way can provoke their curiosity and interest in English. With the effort of teachers and their parents, we think that we can foster good English –learning circumstances for these kids in Hulien. Finally, thanks for every cute student’s and kind teachers’ help or we can’t finish the interview and paper. I think these theories are definitely essential. Above all, only with the patience and passion, can we help these kids love and boost their English?
And a series of habitual behavior which L1 constructs will interfere L2 acquisition.