The Factors Affecting Senior High School Students’ English Language Learning -
The Interview of Senior High School Students about the ELL results
Subject: Research Methods and Thesis Writing
In senior middle school, English language learning has an important position. Students have to face the college entrance examination, so they need a high score of the English language learning. In this passage, we only talk about the factors affecting senior high school students’ English language learning, considered with both good results and bed results of English language learning. Here, the results only refer to the high remark in the test.
I interviewed some students in the YuMing high middle school, which enjoys a good reputation with the high rate of entranced. The students came from both fast classes (the students have high level of the total scores in the examination) and common classes (the students have low level of the total scores in the examination).
3. Data collection
This investigates included the following questions:
1) What about your English language learning results?
2) Do you like learning English language? And why?
3) Since you do not like English language, why do you still learn English language?
4) When you began to study English language?
5) Do you like your English teacher?
6) If you do not like your English teacher, whether you can still study hard or not?
7) What is the most difficult or biggest problem, do you think, in the English language study?
8) Do you like to remember English vocabularies?
9) How do you learn English language?
10) In English language learning, what do you think do you like best to do? Listen to the English music? Read some favorite English magazines? Watch English films? Or else?
11) If there were no college entrance examination, do you want to continue learning English language?
4. Data analysis
To investigation the students can be divided into two big groups, one is considered as high marks (HM) in the English language test in the final examination while the other in low marks (LM). And in the high remark group, the students also could consider with the two different attitudes towards to the degree of feeling to English language learning. High mark students who have a deep favorite of the English language learning have clear motivation, effective learning methods, language aptitude, and hard working spirit. While others who have a less favorite of the English learning also has clear motivation, and spend much time learning English language, but only in order to enter the higher schools and gets high mark. Low mark students who like to study English language study hard, have positive attitude but have less language aptitude. While others who do not like to study English language have unclear motivation, spend little time learning English language, or something else. And we will have the generally line on the following part.
5. Findings from Interview
5.1 High mark students in English language learning
The four students (A, B, C, D) I interview came from the same class who were recommended by their teacher as students representing the same level, but have different performance in English language learning: two of them are interested in English language learning while other two study English only because of the college enter examination. All of them have high mark in the examination, but the two students who are interested in English language not only have good oral speaking, but also have other good habits in English language learning. And the other two students who are not interested in English language but have high marks in the exam are poor in English speaking, only good at do the excises which they want to face in the exam. And the most influential factors of different performance among the high mark students by the interviewees’ statements as below:
1) College entrance examination. The senior middle school students must facet to college entrance examination; it is a great external force to push them to study English. In the interview, the two students who have less interested in English mentioned the pressure from the college entrance examination. They said it was college entrance examination that they attached great importance to in English learning; the college entrance examination has directed their motivation to a instrumental one.
2) Going abroad. These students mostly have integrative motivation; most of them intended to go abroad for further studies. They usually not only focus on the presence examination, but pay enough time for speaking and listening. They interested in English movies, music and magazines. Reading also became their favorite.
3) Already known more English knowledge. More and more students learned English at the early age, so when they entrance senior middle school they have known lots of knowledge such as vocabularies, grammar. These students would feel more easily to learn English, because of the already known knowledge. They have not too much difficult to study the knowledge, so they aspire to learn much more.
4) Learning attitude. The students often have positive attitude in learning English. Whatever the difficult is these students would not drop their working. They know how to adjust their attitude, whether in the worse mood or good mood. So when they come into some troubles, they would stick into working hard with positive attitude.
5) Independence in learning. According to the interviewees, they themselves always do learning according to the schedules made by themselves or in a way that they find most effective. They are conscientious and clear about what they need and what they can do, in a word, they are able to adopt various strategies.
6) Encouragement. They were encouraged by others or themselves in their study and got satisfaction and sense of fulfillment from hard working. It is competence-support, that has given them the sense of competence.
5.2 Low marks students in English language learning
The four interviewees (Students E, F, G, H ) from YuMing senior middle school were also from third grade students, but their class is not fast class. It is a common class, where the students’ mark not notably. Although students E and F could not have high mark of English, they work hard in English learning. While the other two are neither interested in English learning nor work hard. The interview has revealed that following factors influence the low marks.
1) Language aptitudes. From the interview of the students E and F, we can see that they worked hard on English learning, but have little good results. In other words, they pay more attention, the less effect. They do not have feel to the language, although they do much exercises. While students G and H fully do not like English, and don’t pay more attention to their studying.
2) English teacher’s ability in senior middle school. For most students, the senior middle school period is a crucial phase of learning. However, during that period, they were not self-determined or independent enough in their study and dependent on their teachers. If they don’t like their English teacher or do not like their teaching way, they will not like to study English hard. Even they can drop their learning.
3) Insipid of vocabularies. Most students said that they do not like to study English only because they do not like to remember vocabularies. Remember vocabularies are a long-term working, can not have quick effect in rewarding. But the vocabularies have an important part in English learning. Because the lack of the vocabularies, they give up learning English language.
4) Dependent learning. According to the interviewees, they all studied dependent others, such as teachers, parents, or friends. They could not dependent on themselves in learning. So if there were opportunities for them to get away from learning, they would do other things.
6. Conclusion Considered with the interviewees’ opinion, we can find that the high mark students with more clear motivation, effective learning method, self-confidence in English learning. While the low mark students attributed the influential factors to the external factors. We should not only blame the low mark students, because some of them are also know what they should do and some of them try their best to learn English, but can not get high mark in the examination. We should consider some other factors; maybe some of the educational method is wrong or not fit to these students. Some of them may do well in the listening and oral but poor grammar, so they can not get the high mark. The factors affecting senior middle school may have more, we could not find out all of them. Because the different individual will meet different personal problems, we should solve different problems according to different situations.