ACTION RESEARCH ON IMPROVING TEACHING PRACTICE OF STUDENTS SPEAKING SKILLS
Mongolian National University of Education (MNUE)
We are doing Action Research in English Language Teaching. Action research (AR) can be very valuable way to improve our teaching skills and understand students. Starting point for AR is our negative feelings about speaking skills of students. We have a whole cluster of questions and doubts about this aspect of teaching and we are concerned to find out, 'how do we improve what we are doing things for ourselves and our students.' (Whitehead, J. (1989) ‘Creating a living educational theory from questions of the kind, How do I improve my practice? in the Cambridge journal of education at http://www.actionresearch.net/ writing/livtheory.html. To understand the nature of the problem we conducted interviews with students. Their replies pointed to a number of problems. We collected some information after we prepared our research to find out what the students thought they spent most of their time doing. We particularly asked, "What kind of exercises do you mostly do at your weekly English classes?" Of the 108, students who study at MNUE, 8% said ‘reading’; 12% responded ‘listening’; 8% replied ‘spoken’; 80% said ‘writing’. To our observations, most of the teachers (12 of the 14) focused on writing or reading exercises, while 2 of them gave preference to speaking in class over the weeks. We will evaluate our effectiveness in improving the speaking skills of our students.
Key words: living theory, action research, teaching practice