ISSN 2251-838X / Vol, 4 (2): 487-495
Science Explorer Publications
Using Current Issues of Interest in Teaching
Department of Humanities, Hidaj-Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hidaj, Iran Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of the integrating currents issues of interest into class materials on the students’ achievement in learning grammar. The following question was proposed. Is relating current issues of interest to class materials useful on students grammar learning? It was hypothesized that integrating current issues of interest with class materials in teaching grammar has a positive effect on learning grammar. The study was performed at Islamic Azad University in Hidaj with 60 participants--male and female-- who were majoring in ‘mechanical’ and ‘electrical’ engineering. Since the researcher did not have the possibility of randomizing the subjects, 60 students of two classes who were taking their first semester at university were used for this study; one of the classes as the control group and the other as the experimental group. As Farhady (1995, p. 146) contends: “In classroom research it is unreasonable to expect the director of the courses to randomly assign students to classes for the sake of experimentation.” The subjects were taught for five weeks and finally took an achievement test. After analyzing the results of the test, and by comparing the means of the scores using t-test, it was found that integrating current issues of interest with class materials in teaching grammar lessons did not significantly improve students achievement in learning grammar.
Key words: Current Issues of Interest, Motivation, Interest, Teaching Grammar. INTRODUCTION
In ESL/EFL class, if materials from out of the class are included in taught materials, better results will be achieved (Stout, 1987; Brinton, 1991; Gebhard, 1996; Melvin& Jacobson et al. 2003). It is also believed that when out-of-class materials are used in teaching class materials, learners attain more motivation to learn. According to Brinton (1991), authentic materials and media can reinforce for students the direct relationship between the language classroom and the outside world. These issues are often with the students even when they are in their class. Students usually think about them so that they are active in their mentality. As many research findings (Barlett, 1932; Widdowson, 1983; Mendelsohn, 1994; Anderson, Spiro & Montague, 1977; Vacca&Vacca, 2005) suggest, learning occurs by integrating new materials to the existing prior knowledge. There are often some issues attracting people’s attention and creating some topics of common interest. Usually a large number of events are known to be focused by both teachers and students. As an instance, actors, actresses, athletes or politicians are often know by students and teachers; they follow the stories of popular programs of TV, common magazines or newspapers and popular websites. In this country, most of the time, important economic, social or political news are followed by most of people and students as well. Thus, integrating these issues to class materials will probably strengthen student's attention and interest to learn. Therefore, studying the probable efficacy of using these common issues on teaching and learning grammar looks to be necessary. Also, the idea that language learners usually find grammar teaching classes boring and difficult, justifies the attempt of this study to make teaching this aspect of language easier and with more interest.
In teaching English as a foreign language, there have usually been concerns about the negative feelings and attitudes that students have towards grammar. Grammar looks boring and difficult to many of language learners. There have been good improvements in teaching grammar over...