Hello, this is the Chapter 6 of my MA dissertation in TESOL.
Chapter 6: Testing the activities selected for using with videos in class and a Blog for training teachers to integrate videos into the classroom.
Chapter 6 deals with the testing process regarding the activities selected for using with videos in class and a Blog created for showing teachers, students and teachers trainers around the world how to use some videos in English lessons through different activities. In order to validate the activities and the Blog designed it was necessary to create a questionnaire for teachers with the main purpose to obtain some feedback about their effectiveness for improving the English language students’ acquisition in class.
Then in order to achieve the questionnaire, the author consulted different materials regarding this topic. But there was a book that offered some explanation in details about what a questionnaire is, its importance, its diversity and how the questions could be created. So, the author based her questionnaire on Nocedo de León and Abreu (1984: 38-49).
6.2 Application of a questionnaire to validate a series of activities and the Blog for training teachers to integrate videos into the classroom.
It is significant to achieve a questionnaire that contribute to validate the series of activities selected (Preparatory, Understanding and the Extension Work) for using with any videos in class. This questionnaire was created for asking some English teachers about the usefulness of the activities selected in order to improve the students’ acquisition of the English language and to better their listening, speaking, writing and reading skills through the use of videos in class.
In addition, it is considerable to achieve a questionnaire that allow the author of this research to validate the Blog designed for showing teachers, students and teachers’ trainers around the world how to use videos with different activities in class. In addition, the Blog designed should contribute also an example for teachers in general about its design and content, so after receiving some feedback from teachers the author could realize if the purposes for designing this Blog were successfully accomplished.
6.3 Analysis of the data.
The questionnaire created was answered by 20 English teachers from different universities and countries who were studying the MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Westminster University, London in 2008. They completed 6 questions regarding the activities selected for using with videos in class and 10 questions about the Blog and the video lessons included.
Regarding the activities selected for using with video in class, teachers opinions were very favourable, although there were some teachers who argued with respect to the moment of achieving few activities according to the stage of the lesson.
The first and the second questions were designed in order to get a general picture of the selection of the activities. Then, the following questions were more specific in which teachers should provide their own opinions about the contribution of the activities towards the development of the English language and the cultural aspect in the students.
6.3.1 Some teachers’ comments about the activities.
1) Are the activities suitable for all kind of videos?
Yes X No ___
The 20 teachers, who answered the questionnaire, choose the positive answer, for this question making an equivalent of 100 % from the total, which means that all the activities selected can be used with any videos.
2) Are the activities properly organized according to the stage of the lesson?
(The stages deal with the Preparatory, Understanding and Extension
Work or which is mainly known as before, during and after watching and
listen to the video)
Yes X No ___
Concerning this question, 17 teachers from a total of 20, answered positively arguing that the activities were logically organized and achieved taking into account the stage of the lesson. However, 3 of them stated that some activities could be achieved in more than one stage, for instance, in the case of the Preparatory activity 6, they argued that it could be achieved also in the Understanding as it is shown in the Blog but not in the questionnaire. In addition, the Understanding activities 8 and 10, according to some teachers’ criteria they could be achieved as Extension work. So in general, it could be stated that an 85% agreed with the organization of the activities and a 15% disagreed, so looking at the results given by the majority of the teachers reinforces that the activities could be achieved in class in the way originally organized.
3) Do the activities allow students to improve their knowledge regarding the English language? If yes, in which way?
Yes X No ___
The 20 teachers (100%) agreed with the aspect stated in this question, arguing that all the activities allow students to improve their knowledge about the English language due to they can develop the listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. Besides, as most of the activities should be achieved by means of the interaction in pairs or groups, they learn from each other allowing an increase in terms of vocabulary, grammatical structures and the communicative functions in general.
Besides, as the activities are related to a content previously studied, make possible to students fixing what they have learned before and to acquire by means of games, role plays, some predictions, among others, the new knowledge. In addition, these activities enrich the development of Input because they motivate students towards the topic encouraging them to participate and talk in class, which contributes to improve their Output, a very beneficial issue teachers should have always in mind.
4) Do the activities develop students’ knowledge regarding the cultural aspect? If yes, in which way?
The 20 teachers (100%) stated that all the activities allow students to acquire and develop a general cultural background. Regarding the activity about the global warming and its effect on the weather, they let students to understand better the causes of many natural disasters and to feel more concern about the nature in general. So, the activities and the video concerning that topic increase students’ motivation towards it allowing them to start thinking about possible solutions to the problem and climates’ problems are part of the environment culture.
On the other hand, the activities dealing with the most beautiful places around the world contribute to increase students’ culture, enjoying through Internet marvellous and exciting examples of places from different continents, so this is a way students can learn about others’ countries culture.
Apart from that, students can acquire some other aspects like the music, which is one issue that characterize the culture of a country. In this sense, the activities related to the video about how to dance salsa, students could learn not only some general steps about dancing salsa, but also they are identifying the music as one cultural element that belongs to a specific country.
5) How do you consider the activities selected for the video lessons? Tick one answer, please.
Very good ______ good _____ suitable _____
not suitable _______ others _____
As it is evident through the graph, the results of this question brought different answers, but all of them favourable, due to a 13 teachers (65%) from the total considered the activities selected for the video lessons, very good, 4 teachers (20%) considered the activities good and 3 teachers (15%) selected suitable as their answers. So, the result in general evidence that the activities selected can be achieved in English video lessons efficiently.
6) Are the activities selected good examples for using with videos in class?
Yes X No ___
The 100 % of teachers stated that the activities selected are good examples for using with videos in class.
6.3.2 Some teachers’ comments about the Blog
Regarding the questions concerning the Blog, 20 English teachers (100% from the total) answered the questionnaire. Their opinions were very favourable, there were some general questions dealing with the performance and usefulness of the Blog and the video lessons. Then, there were some others more specific about the content and significance of using a Blog as a tool for improving students and teachers’ studies regarding the use of videos in ELT lessons.
1. Did you find easy to navigate through the Blog?
Yes ___ No ___
The vast majority of the teachers 18 which represents the 90% from the total evidenced that it was easy to open the Blog and read all the information provided in the labels. Nevertheless, there were two teachers that represent the (10%) from the total, who faced some difficulties when opening it, due to some Internet and network problems, which are some inevitable aspects that teachers should take in mind at the moment of working with our students using the Internet.
2. Do the videos from the Blog develop not only the English language, but also some ethical and socio cultural aspects in the students?
Yes X No __
The 100% of the teachers choose the positive answer, although they did not have to provide opinions, some of them stated, that they realized that the videos were not chosen at random, on the contrary, their selection was based not only on the acquisition students will do concerning the English language, but also it was taken into account some important values students need for their development as human beings, and this is the case of the value regarding the monuments and patrimonies from different countries around the world that are shown through one of the video. Besides the protection for the environment in general is another significant element that is exposed by means of the video, developing this value in the students.
3. Do you consider the Blog a useful tool for showing teachers, students and teachers’ trainers how to use videos with different activities in class?
If yes, how? ______________________________
If no, why? _______________________________
The 100% of teachers stated that the Blog created is a valuable and useful tool that illustrate and explain students, teachers and teachers’ trainers around the world how to use videos with different activities in class, due to when someone clicks on the Preparatory or Understanding activities for instance, the person will read a description about each activity concerning the stage selected, the objectives of achieving that, and an example of the activity taking place in class, which gives an idea about how the teacher can develop one activity, the instructions stated, the way students behave when doing the activities, among others aspects.
They also stated that there’s some sort of avoidance from many teachers to use this beneficial tool because they assume it takes a lot of time to prepare the activities and because many of them are lack of technology training and cannot handle this. In addition, they argued that it is absolutely important for teachers, students and teachers’ trainers to get involved in the use of this media.
4. How useful do you find the content from the Blog? Tick one answer, please.
Very useful _____ useful _____
not useful _____ others _____
As it is shown in the graph, 15 teachers that represent the (75%) from the total stated that the content of the Blog created is very useful for students and teachers, but 5 teachers consider the content of the Blog useful, representing this a (25%) from the total. So taking into consideration teachers’ criteria, we can state that the content of the Blog created is very helpful in all sense.
5. What are your impressions of the Blog created? Give your opinion, please.
The evidence in general show that the Blog created has a great value regarding the English language teaching, due to through it teachers can improve their lessons by means of some videos and the most appropriate activities achieved according to the stage of the lesson. In this sense, they argue that it was very useful to provide the aim of each activity and their description. Besides, according to teachers’ opinions the Blog has a very nice design although it would be useful to use colours to highlight the titles of the activities or adding the activities to a word document so that teachers can download them and as well to post the solutions.
Another criteria was dealing with the integration among the activities, the videos from you tube and video lessons. The teachers state that this integration allows any person to acquire enough information regarding the improvement of the English language through videos.
Another impression was related to the feedback provided in the Blog, because it gives the possibility to students and teachers to write comments based on what they read and watch and they can also send emails to the author, establishing a direct contact between the author and the person interested in learning from the Blog. Some other teachers stated that the Blog also gives whole range of information about the writer.
In general, they consider the Blog an amassing and simple tool because as some stated, language learning is mainly about having a ‘motive’, and also technology is about simplicity, therefore the Blog is very good for the intended goals.
6. Was there any part from the Blog that you found very valuable?
If yes, which?
The 100% of the English teachers consider the Blog a very valuable tool in all sense. But most of the teachers argue that one of the most useful parts from the Blog is the one related to the videos selected from you tube which motivate students towards the development of the English language and the cultural aspect. They also found the video films very valuable attractive, captivating and informative. Others enjoyed and learned from the activities selected for using with videos in the different stages.
7. Is there any part from the Blog that you consider not very useful? If yes, which?
The 100% of the English teachers consider that all the information provided in the Blog is useful.
8. Does the Blog created explain and show teachers how to use videos with different activities according to the stage of the lesson? (Preparatory/ Understanding and Extension Work)
Yes X No __
All the teachers (100%) agreed with the fact, that the Blog illustrate and explain in details how teachers could improve the English language by means of videos, achieving different activities according to the stage of the lesson.
9. Could students and teachers use the Blog as a helpful tool for their studies regarding the use of videos in ELT lessons?
Yes X No __
The 100% of the teachers stated that the Blog designed contribute to improve students and teachers’ knowledge with respect to the use of videos in English lessons, so according to their criteria, it is a very useful tool which allow any person to acquire some information regarding this subject. Besides if there is a teacher who decides to carry out a research about this topic, they can consult the Blog as a reference for their studies. Although in order to improve it for future work, some teachers consider that it would be more beneficial if the author creates two independent sections in the Blog, one for teachers and another one for students. Besides in my view, the students can use the Blog as a valuable tool for improving and making some progress concerning the English language.
10. Do you think the Blog allows teachers to train them about its design and content?
Yes X No __
The 100% of the teachers consider the Blog a valuable example for showing teachers how they could design a similar Blog in terms of the content and the way it is expressed.
To conclude it can be said that, the results from the questionnaire evidence that the activities selected are very useful for using in the video lessons due to they better the teaching-learning process of the English language through videos.
The questionnaire’s results illustrate that these activities are good examples for using with videos in class taking into account the stage of the lesson, favouring students to improve their knowledge regarding the English language and to enrich the cultural aspect.
The results also showed that the Blog created is a very useful and interesting tool which favours the development and improvement of the English language in the students. But also it contributes with respect to the students’ acquisition of some ethical and socio cultural values.
It’s design shows how teachers, students and teachers’ trainers can use videos with different types of activities in class, allowing them to learn not only about the use of videos but also about its design and content. Although the design of the Blog could be improved allowing teachers and students acquire its content easily.
So, there is no doubt that the Blog created, is a very helpful tool that train teachers in general to integrate videos into the classroom and use them in the English lessons efficiently.
Apart from that, the Blog created is considered a valuable tool for teachers and students because through a creative and efficient way, it allows the integration among different media such as; some videos from you tube, the video lessons which show some examples of activities taking place and the Internet that gives the possibility to illustrate and expand the work done regarding the use of videos for improving the English lessons. So by means of this integration, the Blog becomes a very powerful tool that should be consulted in order to better the acquisition and improvement of the English language.
The novel issue of this Blog will be related to the theory about the integration of the different media previously state, with the objective to teach students, teachers and teachers’ trainers about the use of videos and the most adequate activities concerning the stage of the lesson, favouring the teaching-learning process of the English language in any institutions, but mainly at the Higher Pedagogical Institutes in Cuba. That theory will be developed in future works.