Arab American University
The effect of using ice-breaker activities on English lesson on motivating the students from the teachers’ and students’ perspective
This research has been conducted this study to find out the impact of using icebreakers activities on motivating students from teachers’ and students’ perspective. These activities had been applied on 5th and 6th grades for English Language lessons in different times and periods during the day. The researchers had got questionnaires for teachers and students; English teachers only. The researchers had used many forms of different activities. Results: The results showed that there are many positive effects of using ice-breakers activities in classroom. The study propose that there is a need to use ice-breakers during lessons.
Section Subject Page
Table of content II
Chapter one : Introduction
1.1 Introduction 1.2 Statement of problem 1.3 Background 1.4 Significance of the study 1.5 Study objectives 1.6 Study Questions 1.7 Study Design 1.8 Theories of the Study 1.9 The Hypotheses Chapter two : Literature review
2.1 Introduction 2.2 Previous studies 2.3 Link to present study 2.4 Bloom’s life 2.5 Bloom’s taxonomy 2.6 Palestinian context Chapter three : Methodology
3.1 Introduction 3.2 Research objectives 3.3 Research questions 3.4 Research design 3.5 Participant and sampling 3.6 Instrumentation 3.7 Validity and reliability of the tools 3.8 Triangulation 3.9 Data analysis Chapter four : Results and discussions
4.1 Introduction 4.2 Homogeneity of groups 4.3 Answers of the study questions 4.3.1 Answer ofquestion No.1 4.3.2 Answer of question No.2 4.3.3 Answer of question No.3 4.3.4 Answer of question No.4 4.3.5 Answer of question No.5 4.3.6 Answer of question No.6 4.3.7 Answer of question No.7 4.4 Results of the interviews 4.4.1 Interview question No.1 4.4.2 Interview question No.2 4.4.3 Interview question No.3 4.4.4 Interview question No.4 4.4.5 Interview question No.5 Chapter five : Conclusion
5.1 Introduction 5.2 Conclusion 5.3 Implication 5.4 Limitation 5.5 Recommendation References Appendices Chapter one: Introduction
Icebreakers activities are one of the most important ways inside the class rooms . First of all , they create comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere inside the class room , they motivate students and create a collaborative environment between students. It’s claimed that traditional ways of teaching which depend on using direct questions from teacher to the students, consume most of the time and lead to boredom due to the passive role of the students. Recently, most studies show that, the psychological state of the students affects their learning and engagement in the activities. Flanigan (2011), “performing ice breaking activities in English class will direct students to the good mood of learning. Also appropriate kind of ice breaking activities will make students sure to get the most from their lesson and also, they will have fun.” Celce-Murcia (2001), stated that “activities must be student-centered and communication should be authentic, that means students must do an activity because it is interesting for them, not because teacher asks them to do.” Ersoz (2000), “Games are highly motivating because they are amusing and interesting. They can be used to give practice in all language skills and be used to practice many types of communication.”
1.2 Statement of problem
A striking problem that is common in our schools , is teachers’ use of traditional ways to teach students , i.e. using direct questions and long presentation which are teacher-centered approach. All of what have been mentioned above cause many problems inside classroom environment for both teacher and students. Students are fed up because of the same routine in learning without anything new or anything can make them feel that they have a role inside the classroom. For teachers; if teachers do not use activities inside classroom and keep using the traditional methods, students will feel boredom and this will lead them to do many problems and chaos for teacher. In this research, we are going to see the benefits and the advantages of using icebreakers activities inside classrooms and how are they help teachers to create the suitable atmosphere and how these activities will increase students’ abilities and motivation.
This research will be conducted this study to find out the impact of using icebreakers activities on motivating students from teachers’ and students’ perspective . The researcher will use many forms of different activities. Students face many difficulties in Palestine. They lack motivation in learning English language. The majority of teachers in schools suffer from the use of traditional way, and it stays as the teacher-centered approach unfortunately. As a result, many teachers are concerned with creating a community in the classroom, where the student is to be engaged to the learning process in a fun way. For that, the Icebreakers can be used as an effective stimulus if they have relevance to a specific class, can be targeted to the suitable group, and can be varied. The best ice-breakers simply are important, relevant activities that have as an additional feature an opportunity for the group to get acquainted. While the technique of using ice-breakers is well known, quite the opposite is the case with ending a course. For example, McKeachie (1999) suggests using ice-breakers, although he does not give specific examples, yet little is mentioned about parting ways. In addition, little research has been conducted assessing the value of providing academic and psychological closure to a course. Many faculty realize that the end of a class can often seem abrupt and anti-climactic (Eggleston ; Smith, 2001). We believe parting ways are essential for establishing academic closure (e.g., reviews of the material, post-tests of knowledge) as well as emotional closure (e.g., recognition, taking time to say good-bye). The very best parting way activities combine academic relevance, emotional closure, and make connections beyond the classroom (Eggleston ; Smith, 2002).
1.4 Significance of the study
This study will be carried out to add more information on the effect of using ice-breakers on the students motivation and achievement (participant). Boredom, is a common problem for most students in classrooms. The reason behind it vary , e.g. ; the usual habits for most teachers in where the teacher keeps the routine and traditional way in teaching and conducting the lesson period during the forty-five minutes. The class in the period starts with greetings, then move directly to lesson, without taking in consideration the psychological conditions in the classroom. As previously mentioned , various studies had emphasized on the importance of using ice-breakers activities inside the classroom for both teachers and students. Therefore , the significance of the study emerges from the fact that teachers as well as learners are indeed in need of having this classroom practice. Such practice will help both teachers and students to overcome on important problematic area in the teaching and learning process.
1.5 Study objectives
This study have specific objective which are :1) To find out the effect of using ice-breakers activities on motivating students .2) To find out whether students are going to like English after using ice-breakers.
3) To find out the best and the suitable ice-breakers for each grade and level .4) To find out whether ice-breakers can hold students’ attention or not .
5) To find out whether ice-breakers can create a cooperative atmosphere between students .6) To find out whether ice-breakers can create a good relationship between students and the teacher .7) To find out whether ice-breakers could limit the time which teacher talks .
1.6 Study Questions
This study will try to answer the following research questions:
1. What are the students’ perspective towards ice-breakers activities on motivation ?2. What are the teachers’ perspective towards ice-breakers activities on motivation ?3. Are ice-breakers activities able to grasp students’ attention from teachers’ perspective ?4. Are there any positive impact in conducting ice-breakers activities inside classroom on English language ?5. Can ice-breakers activities create a good relationship between students
themselves and between students and their teacher ?
1.7 Study Design
In this study , we focused on quantitative tool which is questionnaire. The researchers used a reliable questionnaire arbitrated by Dr. Osama Abu Baha, Dr.Salah Assaf and Mr. Abd Al-Hameed Badwan. The questionnaire prepared for both teachers and students . The questionnaire which is for teachers consist of twenty five items , and the one for students consist of ten items.
1.8 Theories of the Study
Many studies were conducted to show and to emphasize on the importance of using ice-breakers :- Games help achieve these goals as they help satisfy the requirement of the national curriculum that language learning should be enjoyable for students (AðalnámsskráGrunnskóla. Erlend mál.2007.p. 6). According to the national curriculum games can be a good teaching method and games, such as role playing games, imitation games, theatrical expression and problem solving activities are especially fitting for all stages of language learning (Aðalnámskrágrunnskóla. Erlend mál.2007.p. 12). By using games in the classroom the teacher is giving his students a bigger role, and he himself is stepping out of the frontline which is a positive thing because it allows students to take on more responsibility. Also that allows students to do more on their own, and that can very well result in an increase in their confidence level. (Langran& Purcell.1994. p.12-14). It is sometimes easier to open up and forget the shyness when playing a game because the atmosphere is not as serious and more emphasis is put on fluency rather than grammatical correctness. (Langran& Purcell.1994. p.12-14). They can be used with students of all ages, and when they are used with other teaching methods they create diversity which is ideal for school work (Ingvar Sigurgeirsson.1999.p. 80). Another consequence this change might have is decreased social skills because, according to Piaget, children?s games reflect society and that by playing games children learn many of society?s rules and regulations (Cole, Cole & Lightfoot. 2005.p. 536). It is good to keep in mind when selecting a game that a recipe for a good educational game is one that balances both fun and challenge (Steve Sugar.1998.p. xvi). More difficult games can be made easier so they become a challenge instead of to hard for less skilled or younger students and vice versa (Hadfield.1990). When children reach this age they start to be able to augment the games themselves, for example to bend the rules to make the game more suited for their group. For children older than 12 games are often much more planned and they often emphasize teams and teamwork (Þórey Guðmundsdóttir.1987. p. 6). Games are simple structured activities which may involve little language but are meaningful to students and involve the whole self (cognitively and emotionally), thus creating strong associations with the language used (Fleta, 2009). According to James Zull, students can learn a tremendous amount from their peers, who they may be able to relate to more than their teacher (The Art of Changing the Brain, 2009). Lee (1995) stated that to use games in classroom can support English learning in many perspectives. That is it provides opportunities for target language practice, encourages students to communicate by using all four language skills, and creates a real life situation for using language. Moreover, the foremost students’ problem in learning English is lack of interest . Wright, Betteridge, and Buckby (2005) suggested that games were the effective means sustaining students’ interest and getting rid of anxiety in class . Jacobs and Kline Liu (1996) and Ersoz (2005) mentioned that games develop students’ social skills in co-operating with others as well as build up team spirit . Gardner (1999) recommended that games can develop three types of intelligences: spatial, bodily kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence. Reese (1999, cited in Sripramong, 2004) suggested that games can be used in English class for two purposes. The first is to activate background knowledge in presentation stage such as, matching picture with target vocabulary. Secondly, it is used topractice English skills or learn particular grammar in practice stage such as, using spelling games to teach vocabulary. In terms of vocabulary research, Sripramong (2004) investigated the effect of using vocabulary games on the retention in learning vocabulary of 40 students in grade five. The findings revealed that students’ retention in learn English vocabulary games were at high level and students have positive attitudes toward vocabulary games
1.9 The Hypotheses:
1- The utilization of icebreakers in educational process will lead pupils towards stimulus and learning motivation.
2- teachers will have a remarkable results in improving the teaching and learning process through the implementation of icebreakers.
3- The attention-taking factor, which takes 5 to 10 minutes of barrier-breaking exercises by the instructor, will be observed if students interact with the teacher during the 45-minute session.
4- If the teacher uses these activities, the fun will be combined with English language instruction and the result will be practical English recruitment.
5- The study will show positive results on the classroom relationship between the student and the teacher. Students’ interactions, participation, performance, and responses will also be noticed. Students’ trust, affiliation and self-confidence will increase. If the student feels the love of the teacher, the process of learning English will stem from the student’s will.
Chapter two : Literature Review
2.1 IntroductionLanguage learning is a hard work. Exertion is required at every time and must be kept up over a long time. As we have a significance in language learning and valid use of the language it is helpful to follow and generate many different techniques and procedures. We can have an interacting atmosphere which may lead to an development in learning a foreign language through the innovative procedure. According to students’ achievements we can notice through observation, if our students have improved or not, and if our methods is functional, successful or not. Games and especially educational games are one of the methods and procedures that the teacher may depend on in teaching a English. Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson. A game should not be seen as a minor activity using it in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better to do. Games should be at the center of teaching English language, they must be suitable and carefully chosen. Games also help in making revision for the previous lessons. All agree that even if games cause noise and chaos, they are still deserve to pay attention to and implementing in the classroom, since they motivate learners, promote communicative competence and generate fluency and may have a significant role in improving a second language acquisition.
2.2 Previous Studies
There are several experimental studies related to the valuable effects of effective classroom activities on language gaining , and all of them proved the existence of a definite direct relationship between language learning and activities which effect in successful oral communications. Maryam Rohani and Behzad Pourgharib conducted a study which aims at determination of effect of games on learning vocabulary. It used a pretest and also a posttest to measure the effect games may have on vocabulary knowledge of subjects. After analyzing the obtained data, it was concluded that the training program significantly boosted vocabulary knowledge of the subject, even more than twice. However, no significant difference was found between use of textbooks and games to boost the vocabulary gain as both programs made significant progress in the subjects. Future studies are directed toward determination of effect of other materials (e.g. films, audio stories, etc.) on vocabulary knowledge of students. It should be noted that my study was limited by students’ age group and time considerations. Mania Moayad also conducted a study attempts to determine the role of educational games on learning a foreign language, and to compare games with more traditional practices as effective learning tools on the basic educational stage students at governmental schools in Jordan, an experimental research is conducted using three groups out of six randomly. To determine the relationship between learning a foreign language and educational games among the participants, a one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is performed based on achievement levels. For the relation between educational games and learning a foreign language a Pearson’s Correlational analysis is used. The results of the post test for the experimental group are so better than the controlled one which show that games have a good effect on improving the achievement for the primary stage and to create an interactive environment. It is recommended to use games since they are very effective especially for the primary stages in teaching a second language and games are helpful for the teacher as a procedure for language acquisition.Van Dat Tran conducted an experimental study . This experimental study investigated the effects of cooperative learning on the achievement and knowledge retention of 110 first-year primary education students toward the psychology subject over the eight weeks of instruction at An Giang University. These tertiary students were divided into two matched groups of 55 to be taught by the same lecturer. In the experimental group, cooperative learning was employed, while in the control group, lecture-based teaching was used. The results showed that after approximately 8 weeks students who were instructed using cooperative learning achieved significantly higher scores on the achievement and knowledge retention posttests than did students who were instructed using lecture-based teaching. The study supports the effectiveness of cooperative learning in Vietnamese higher education. Ying-Jian Wang , Hui-Fang Shang and Paul Briody conducted a study which examines the overall effects of using games on the improvement of young children English proficiency in relation to the following criteria: motivation; vocabulary acquisition; and anxiety due to peer pressure. The overarching aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between the usage of games and students? English proficiency. In this study, the subjects numbered 50 grade-six EFL students from one elementary school. By applying quantitative and qualitative research methods, the major findings demonstrate that students evidenced significant improvements in their learning motivation and vocabulary acquisition, and that their anxiety levels due to peer pressure were reduced when learning included games. Other findings reveal that there is a significant relationship/difference in the utilization of games and students? English performance, most notably with regards to proficiency levels. The various implications for pedagogical application of gaming components in regards to enhancing young learners? English performance and attitudes are also presented. In Husam Rushdi Ishtawi study which aimed to investigate the effects of game strategy on the learning of English grammar for the twelfth grade students at Gaza governmental schools. To achieve this aim, the researcher adopted the experimental approach. The sample of the study consisted of (80) male students from Palestine Secondary School in West Gaza. The participants were divided into two equivalent groups: a control group, 40 students, and an experimental one, 40 students. The educational games strategy was used in teaching the experimental group, while the traditional method was used with the control one in the first term and the first month of the second term of the school year (2009-2010). An achievement test of five scopes with (50) items was designed and validated to be used as a pre and post test, as well as five quizzes, for the purpose of formative evaluation. The achievement test was meant to prove groups equivalence. Besides, it was used as a post test to measure any possible differences between the two groups. The collected data were analyzed and treated statistically through the use of SPSS. The findings indicated that there were statistical significant differences between both groups, favouring the experimental one, and this is due to the method of educational games strategy. Furthermore, implementing the effect size equation, the study revealed that educational game strategy had a large effect size favouring the experimental group. In the light of those findings, the study recommended the necessity of implementing educational game strategy in teaching English language to make better outcomes in students’ achievement of English language. Also, the researcher suggested that further researches should be conducted on the effects of games on different English skills, and other school subjects as well. Dr. Amaal Al Masri Mrs. Majeda Al Najar conducted a research . The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of using word games on primary stage students’ achievement in English vocabulary in Marj Al Hamam Primary school for girls and Al Baraa’ School for boys in Amman in Jordan. To achieve the purpose of the study, a pre/post-test was constructed to measure students’ level in English vocabulary. The test consisted of thirty items on English language vocabulary. The sample of the study consisted of 158 first grade students; (76) male students and (82) female students during the first semester of the academic year 2013/2014. The subjects of the study were distributed into four groups (two female groups experimental and control, and two male groups; experimental and control). The experimental groups were taught English vocabulary using games while the control groups were taught using the traditional way of teaching using pictures and memorization. The subjects were 39 male students for the experimental group and 37 male students for the control group, while the female students for the experimental and control group were 42 and 40 respectively. Descriptive statistical analyses were used (means and standard deviation) for the pre and post- tests of students’ English vocabulary. Comparison statistical methods were used (Two Way ANOVA) analysis of variance to make a comparison between the control and the experimental groups and gender variable (male and female). The findings of the study indicated that there were statistically significant differences in the post- test between the control and the experimental groups in favor of the experimental group, and there was no statistically significant difference in the students’ achievement due to gender. The researcher concluded with recommendations to enhance the effect of using word games for teaching English vocabulary on students’ achievement in English vocabulary such as conducting further studies on other populations and for a longer period time.
2.3 Link to present study
This study is similar to other studies in many aspects. First of all, all of the studies aim to motivate students during the learning process through including games that are prepared by the teacher. Secondly , as a Palestinian people who speak Arabic, this study is in harmony with Mania Moayad study in that both of the studies aim to determine the role of educational games on learning a foreign language. Also it is in harmony with Ying-Jian Wang , Hui-Fang Shang and Paul Briody study in that both of them examines the overall effects of using games on the improvement of young children English proficiency in relation to the following criteria: motivation; vocabulary acquisition. On other hand, this research is different from others since it is depend on the perspective for both teachers and students through using a questioner for both, while the other studies like Maryam Rohani and Behzad Pourgharib study depend on using pretest and posttest. Also in this study, the target sample was students of schools and their teachers, while other research like Van Dat Tran research targeted students of universities, especially first year students. Unlike other studies , this one aims to find out whether games can create a good relationship between students and their teacher. While other studies aim to find out whether games can create a good relationship between students themselves and to make students enjoy in their learning the language .