Khảo sát sự quan tâm của sinh viên và giáo viên đối với ngữ điệu tại khoa Ngoại ngữ, trường Đại học Công nghiệp Tp. Hồ Chí Minh

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Luận văn tiếng Anh:An investigation into intonation awareness of teachers and students at Faculty of Foreign Languages at Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City = Khảo sát sự quan tâm của sinh viên và giáo viên đối với ngữ điệu tại khoa Ngoại ngữ, trường Đại học Công nghiệp Tp. Hồ Chí Minh .M.A. Thesis Linguistics: 60 14 01 11

M.A. Thesis. English Teaching Methodology -- University of Languages and International Studies. Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 2014
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Every researcher who conducts a study owes a debt to his supervisor, to his
counselors, to his respondents, to his friends, and to his supporters; I gratefully
acknowledge my deep indebtedness to all of them. First and foremost, my sincerest
thanks go to my supervisor, Doctor NguyễnTrườngSa, a great lecturer atFaculty of
Foreign Languages (FFL), in Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City (IUH). He
has spent a lot of time guiding me through how to approach the research and how to
conduct it step by step with comprehensive instructions. He also spends his valuable
and limited time correcting my research and provides me with trustworthy
feedback. Hopefully, I have applied exactly what he has told me; in case I failed to
do so it was my fault. Secondly, I wish to express my particular thanks to
respondents and teachers who have supported me with all their heart. The data
collection is not without their support.
ABSTRACT
The purpose of the research is to look at English teaching and learning at
tertiary education in Ho Chi Minh City. The university that I chose is Industrial
University of Ho Chi Minh City. The context makes me curious because it is still on
its newly-born development. During my teaching and practice at this university, I
have come to see that a lot of students find it difficult to use English, especially how
to speak it. One important factor that contributes much to speak English is
intonation. I have always seen a lot of students use English without intonation. But
more importantly, what is the cause of this? This research uses three research tools
to investigate the case: questionnaire, recording journals, and interview. The data
have been coded manually with the Giúp of computers. The research has revealed
truths under the light of scientific research. With the results, the research has helped
both teachers and learners really improve their teaching and learning English
intonation. I refer readers to go chapter by chapter to fully comprehend what is
behind those results.

Chapter 1 Introduction.............................................................................................1
1 Reasearch background and problem ........................................................................1
2 Context of the research.............................................................................................2
3 Research objectives..................................................................................................2
4 Research questions ...................................................................................................3
5 Value of the research................................................................................................3
6 Definitions of terms..................................................................................................3
7 Conclusion and overview of chapter........................................................................4
Chapter 2 Literature review ....................................................................................5
1 The nature of pronunciation.....................................................................................5
1.1 The definitions................................................................................................5
1.2 Tones in intonation of spoken English ...........................................................7
1.3 Theoretical and practical importance of intonation........................................8
1.4 English intonation acquisitions.......................................................................9
1.5 Ways into intonation.....................................................................................11
2 Review of methodolody .........................................................................................13
Chapter 3 Methodology ..........................................................................................15
1 Introduction ............................................................................................................15
2 The research design ...............................................................................................15
3 Ethical issues..........................................................................................................17
4 The reason for choosing FFL, part of IUH as fieldwork .......................................17
5 Pilot the research tools ..........................................................................................18
Chapter 4 Results and discussions.........................................................................19
1 Introduction ............................................................................................................19
2 Students with their awareness of intonation ..........................................................19
3 Students‟ recording journals ..................................................................................29
4 Teachers‟ interview................................................................................................33
Chapter 5 Conclusions............................................................................................36
1 Introduction ...........................................................................................................36
2 Essences of the research.........................................................................................36
3 Research strengths and weaknesses .......................................................................37
4. Recommendations for future research ..................................................................38
References .................................................................................................................38
Appendixes.................................................................................................................. I
Appendix 1 Questionnaire.......................................................................................... II
Appendix 2 Recording journals ................................................................................VI
Appendix 3 Interview.............................................................................................. VII

Chapter 1
Introduction
1. Research background and problem
The development of English has been so dramatic over the past centuries and
centuries beyond that Harmer (2006) called the language lingua franca. However,
the biggest question that has even been asked by generations and generations is why
a lot of students fail to interact effectively at workplace and even at interviews for
job opportunities. It is long believed that everything is there for reason; the same
goes for the situation being discussed. Chomsky (1980) ever addressed the terms of
competence and performance on discussing learner‟s learning ability. These two
terms also account for speaking skill learning and acquisition. Cook (2003:41)
points out that the formal systems of language consist of pronunciation, grammar,
and vocabulary. When linguistic competence is taken into consideration, three
above-mentioned areas of language seem to be placed at the center of language
teaching and learning. However, only knowing the systems is one basic aspect of
the invisible picture; another beneficial side of this picture may be hidden in
language learners‟ ability to make use of the systems and put it into spoken
language acquisition, especially that of speaking skill. When English-majored
students make their voice heard through their oral performance, we do not want to
admit this but they normally, in fact, have an obstacle in the path of speaking
English with variant pronunciation and sometimes even incorrect intonation
patterns. It is true that Pronunciation Course has been provided during their early
years at tertiary education. The course is a collocated combination of phonetic
training of sound systems, including minimal pairs (like /p/ and /b/ as in pin and
bin), stress (both at word level and sentence level), intonation patterns such as rising
tone, falling tone, level tone, fall-rise tone and so on as Baker (1993) and other
pronunciation text-book writers have put them onto the table for consideration; for
example, Mortimer (1996) and O‟ Connor (1967). In some other discussions,

Nunan(2006) and Hedge (2000) have also agreed that a student with good English
pronunciation could make him understood and get his meaning crossed easily.
However, in the light of this, it seems that these authors fail to address intonation
correction in relation to sharpening speaking skill. Then it becomes doubtful
whether it is required for students to be provided with intonation correction and
does intonation really play an important role in improving oral performance inside
and outside language classrooms? Can students be completely comprehensible
without being trained about intonation patterns? Scientifically, intonation correction
has not been much discussed; which leads to a potential fact, i.e. whether intonation
correction is one of the causes that leads to failure and corruption of English
speaking students. With that background and problem, the thesis has been carried
out.
2. Context of the research
Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City was upgraded into a university from
a humble college known as Don Bosco for almost 10 years ago. Although the
school name sounds industrial; however, it includes a number of approximately 30
institutions and faculties which are about Tourism and Management, Bio
Technology, Food Technology, Environment, Electronics, Mechanics, Business
Administration, English and the like. The Faculty of Foreign Languages attracts as
many as 900 students and 30 teachers. Most of students come from rural areas and
are very studious with learning. The teachers follow pre-designed programs and
take turn teaching students. The training program divides into 2 main kinds: four
year and three-year training programs. In the former program, there are students as
freshmen, sophomores, junior and senior. These students will be taken randomly as
samples for the research. The sample will also be discussed more deeply in chapter
three, Research Methodology.
3. Research objectives
The objectives of the research are to discover the awareness of students and
teachers in language classrooms about intonation and how this awareness has
helped them both to teach and learn English speaking skill.
4. Research questions
With the hope of understanding the tangible role of intonation correction, this
paper will also be used to answer the following research question:
Does intonation awareness matter to both teachers and students?
The research question will be solved through these three sub questions:
(1) To what extent do teachers take care of intonation correction as part of their
error correction and feedback provision in language classrooms?
(2) What is students‟ awareness of intonation as part of their learning English
for communicative purpose?
(3) What could be challenges for both the teacher and students in teaching and
learning English intonation as a foreign language?
5. Value of the research
The paper will be practically and scientifically valuable. For practical aspect, it
will grasp interest of those who are concerned with intonation correction yet fail to
have chance to search it in detail in a particular situation like Industrial University
of Ho Chi Minh City; for scientific aspect, it helps to find out what kind of role
intonation correction plays that text-book writers have not deeply considered yet.
6. Definitions of terms
Intonation
Intonation is one of the three major branches of the language with grammar and
vocabulary (Nunan 1999 143).
Intonation, as Nunan (1999) defines, is „raising and lowering your pitch to
convey aspects of meaning‟, he also adds that intonation is the „suprasegmental
aspect‟ of pronunciation.
Pitch

As Carter and Nunan (2001) points out, pitch is „voice height‟, and it depends
on the frequency of vibrations of the vocal cords.
7. Conclusion and overview of chapter
The first chapter of the research provides you with a short introduction of
research background and research questions, some key terms that you might want to
understand before reading the second chapter which deals with Literature Review.
Chapter three, which based on chapter two, will address the research methodology
and will also be the official tool for gathering data for analysis in chapter four.
Chapter five will continue the research with results, recommendations and the
research will end up with chapter six, the conclusion.

Chapter 2
Literature review
1. The nature of pronunciation
1.1 The definitions
Features of pronunciation mainly compose of segmental phonology, i.e.
individual sounds, such as minimal pairs like /bit/ and /pit/ and so on and supra
segmental phonology, i.e. stress, for example, falling tone, rising tone and the like,
rhythm, and intonation (Nunan 1999 313). Pronunciation thus has been vitally
indispensable to teaching a foreign language in terms of spoken language (Cook
2003 41; Hedge 2000 119; Kumaravadivelu 2006 67; Nunan 1999 42). Factually,
pronunciation has recently gained more and more awareness from both language
learners and teachers. The matter of pronunciation, as described by Nunan (1999)
above, is divided into two types: segmental and supra-segmental phonology. Both
categories will be thoroughly considered as follows.
Pronunciation
Pronunciation, according to Nunan (1999), is „the ways in which sounds are
produced‟ (Nunan 1999 313). In English, it is commonly known that there are as
many as 12 monophthongs, 7 diphthongs, 24 consonants (O‟ Connor & Fletcher
1989 14). By pronunciation, we actually mean the ways sounds might be produced
through voicing organs of human beings. Another definition from Hedge (2000) is
that pronunciation is learner‟s ability to produce sounds that are intelligible to other
speakers (Hedge 2000, 268). Supra-segmental phonology which is part of
pronunciation consists of stress, rhythm, and intonation (Nunan 1999 313).
Stress
Carter &Nunan (1999) points out that stress refers to a particular syllable that is
pronounced louder with more energy and higher pitch for the sake of making it
prominent from other syllables (Carter &Nunan 1999 226). It is thus a part of supra
segmental phonology, together with pitch, rhythm, tempo, voice quality (Carter


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