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Use of Animated Short Movies to Enhance the Speaking Skill of the Students at Elementary Level

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to investigate the student’s weaker areas in spoken English and improve the speaking skills of the students through the short animated films at the elementary school level. ESL learners face many difficulties in expressing the ideas and thoughts. They lose their confidence when they are supposed to speak in the target language. Sometimes students remain silent in fear of making mistakes, and this job leads them away from learning. Animated films are great source of learning the target language. Students can enhance their fluency. Moreover, they can also improve their pronunciation through listening to the natives. Animated movies not only capture the student’ interest but also engage them fully in their own. Learners will learn or improve their weaker areas by watching them and will enjoy the learning as well. It is true that when learners listen the natives they automatically go towards improvements. Students of the Elementary level are selected for this research. There are 15 female students of grade 8th. The teaching media will be used through some steps and the students will be observed through the performance-based test. The techniques used by the teacher in improving class will solve the problems of speaking. They will judge themselves by their own while watching animated films.

Keywords: speaking skill, fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary, animated movies, techniques

1. Introduction:

The main focus of the study is to improve the speaking skill of the students through animated movies at the elementary level. The study will explore the reasons behind the weaknesses of the students regarding speaking skill and will apply the method to enhance communication for strong interaction.

English is the world’s lingua Franca, a common language that people of different native languages use to communicate with each other. Speaking English with fluency, with correct pronunciation, with correct vocabulary and with the correct use of structure can be easily understood by the listener. According to linguists, learning a second language is most a difficult task to achieve without effort. So, learning to speak in English for ESL learners requires much effort and practice. But unfortunately, in our country, students pay less attention to speaking skill and fail often to attain many opportunities in their practical life. Students at school level, especially of the elementary level are unable to express their ideas in the target language. Based on strong observations, some facts are behind their unwillingness towards speaking. They may can have less vocabulary to use to express their ideas, or incorrect pronunciation, or little knowledge about the structure of the language. All these aspects make them less confident to use the target language effectively. As speaking skill is one of the most important skills of language.

1.1 What speaking actually is?

Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing and receiving and processing information (Brown, 1994; Burns and Joyce, 1997).

Speaking skills are the skills that give us the ability to communicate effectively. These skills allow the speaker to convey his message in a passionate, thoughtful and convincing manner.

There are some kinds of speaking situations in which learners find themselves.

  • Interactive
  • Partially interactive
  • Non-interactive

Interactive speaking situations include the interaction of two persons or more than two persons. There can be a face-to-face conversation or through telephone calls.

Some speaking includes partially interactions such as speeches in which one person interacts with all others but here audience is not allowed to interrupt that person.

Non-interactive situations are those where there a person’s goal is not to interact with others but to record something on the recording platform. i.e. (recording for a radio broadcast or may one’s own voice).

Speaking skill is not as easy as it seems. It is more difficult to acquire than all other skills because it need a lot of practice and strong determination to achieve. Students mostly choose a shortcut way to acquire this important skill but fail due to weak determinations. In Pakistan, students have to face many difficulties to learn a second language. So many barriers come under the process of learning English for speaking. Some common barriers are discussed here that create difficulty to speaking.

Vocabulary:

Some students are not willing to express their ideas regarding any given topic by the teacher. Either the topic would be related to their level of understanding but instead of they are unable to speak because they have less vocabulary to use in their communication. This thing makes them unconfident and leads them far away from acquiring this important skill of language.

Pronunciation:

Improper pronunciation often creates ambiguity and the listener can’t understand the correct information. According to Elliot (1995), pronunciation is one of the most important features of an individual’s speech. It is one of the most important challenges that language learners face.

Fluency:

It includes the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expressions. Elementary school-level learners are unable to acquire a second language accurately. If they try to speak fluently they make mistakes of structures.

Structure:

The use of correct structure is as important as to the use of proper vocabulary items. Without structure language is meaningless. Most of the time learners make mistakes while using structure to convey their messages.

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ESL learners find themselves in the above-mentioned difficulties while using the target language.

1.2 Importance of Speaking Skills:

In this globalization era, communication plays a vital role in getting success in all fields of life. Language is used as a tool for communication. People cannot achieve their goals, aims, and objectives without using proper language.

Speaking skill is the most important skill to acquire in second language learning. It is not easy as it seems. It needs a lot of practice and hard work to acquire. Students mostly face problems and difficulties while learning a second language for communication. Brown and Yuke (1983) say, “Speaking is the skill that students will be judged upon most in real life situations”. Regardless of its importance, speaking skill is devalued by ESL learners in the sense that they totally ignore this main skill while dealing with it. Students try to memorize the dialogues for communication. It is not quite helpful in the sense that speaking varies from situation to situation. There is a need to prepare them fully to deal with every situation while communicating with others.

1.3 Concept of animation movies:

An animation movie is a kind of movie which involves sounds, expressions, and actions by manipulating animated objects. It is a motion picture that has sounds in its movie and creates the illusion of motion. The usage of animated movies makes learning entertaining and enjoyable for students. It is used as a teaching aid to help out students in acquiring speaking skills.

2. Literature review:

Cotter (2007) argues that as students learn to use English in the classroom setting, they should also be involved in learning about how language works.

According to Nunan (1991, p. 39), the success of speaking is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in a target language. Ball (1996, p. 33) states that people are considered that they understand a language only if they are able to speak it. Kayi (2006) also claims that the ability to communicate in a second language obviously and efficiently promotes to the learners’ success both in school and later in every phase of life. Students at lower level demand novelty in learning. They want learning as well as entertainment. Harmer (1998, p.52) stated that a good context of learning ought to be interesting for students although it does not have to be very funny and incredibly inventive, yet the students should at least want to see or hear the information. As in the view of Barthes (1993), an animated movie is a great device that can amuse the audience with an imaginary world of powerful characters. It means that animated movies can stimulate students’ feelings and imagination. The imaginary world develops the students’ interest and also entertains them inwardly. Johnson (2006) states that visuals, including cartoons or animated movies, are employed to aid someone to see an immediate meaning in the language and to enhance language points. Third animated movies give a visual context. Animated movies not only help in enhancing the speaking ability of the students but are also a source of entertainment according to the views of some experts. So in this perspective, the use of animated movies can be a great help for the student to get more in less time period. Espinosa and Rozemela, (2013), also explained that through the animated movie, the students feel enjoy while having entertained of the movie because of visual and auditory input. It can be judged that interesting animated short films can support the learners to imitate what they listen to and see, so the animated short films will influence the students’ understanding in communication by using English.

3. Statement of the problem:

The aim of this research is to improve the speaking skill of the students by the use of animated movies. Students can learn better and in the proper way while learning through this strong teaching media. Although there are so many other teaching materials to enhance speaking skills but according to researchers, animated movies are the best one media to use because it will work double at the same time. First, it will be used as a teaching aid for improvement. Secondly, it will entertain the students as well and capture their attention towards itself. Students will lean and entertain at the same time. As a student, at a lower level of learning wants novelty in their learning. They want something interesting to capture their interest and engage them fully. Animated movies not only work as a learning tool but also engage the student’s attention and interest in themselves. Students within a short time are passing through all the learning areas that are required to enhance their speaking ability. Researchers have done their work in this area; they applied different methods to accumulate this problem. Now this study will explore a new way to use animated films to enhance the four weak areas of the students regarding speaking.

4. Aims and Objectives of the study:

The aim of this project is to investigate how well animated short films can work well in enhancing the speaking skill of students. Students face difficulties in different areas of learning. One may can have a problem in pronunciation, and the other may have a problem in structure. Students sometimes with short vocabulary words remain silent instead to express the idea because they have fewer vocabulary items and can’t meet all the possible requirements related to the topic. So for this purpose, there is a short list of objectives listed below that have to achieve while doing this research.

  • Identify the students’ weak areas of learning.
  • Investigate the factors that prevent them from communicating with others.
  • To identify how well animated short films are working to cover up the weaknesses.
  • To analyze the key elements of learning which are more helpful than other ones.

Research Questions:

The present study purposes the following major questions:

  1. To what extent the learners are good in using new words and phrases in their conversation?
  2. Are they pronouncing well while speaking?
  3. To what extent the use of animated short film is beneficial in the students’ learning?
  4. Do the learners are anxious to enhance their speaking skill?

Research methodology:

In this project, the researcher will use step-by-step techniques to cover up all the weak areas of students. These weaker areas, in which the students of the elementary level find themselves helpless; are listed below:

  • Confidence
  • Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation

Structure

In all other skills, speaking is of an exclusive place to have effective communication, and self-confidence is one of the facilitators to start a conversation. If students have less confidence he will never to present themselves as good communicator. He will be reserved in conversation whether he has knowledge about language or not. Some students want perfection in communication which also prevents them to speak. However, through these techniques students will be able to improve their speaking.

  • Step one: Choose a favorite movie according to the level of the students.
  • Step two: Watch the movie in dual subtitles.
  • Step three: Practice with your favorite scenes.
  • Step four: Write down the new vocabulary words used in conversation.
  • Step five: Role-play activity will be used by imitating the dialogues spoken by the characters in the movie.
  • Step six: Watch the movie a few more times to review vocabulary and pronunciation.

Organization of the study:

The research will be organized in a Govt. Girls Elementary School 80/p, Rahim Yar Khan.

Population:

There will be 20 participants included in this research. Data will be gathered by observing the results in spoken after applying the method step-by-step.

Research Instrument:

The instrument employed in this research will be a performance-based test. Participants will be assessed by the researcher by performing role-play. All areas will be covered through this practice, like pronunciation, new words, use of correct structure and fluency in speaking.

Proposed solutions and anticipated results:

In the proposed results, animation movies will be applicable in the true sense; students will be able to cover up all their weaker areas within a short time with more practice. According to their level of understanding the students will use new vocabulary items in their communication through the. The use of short sentences will enhance their speaking ability as well as boost their confidence level in a positive way. Vocabulary test will be assessed by the use of flashcards. The researcher will test the student’s speaking performance comprising four aspects; fluency, vocabulary, structure and pronunciation through role-play activity. In addition, the sub-titles will use both in the target language and in the first language.

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Use of Animated Short Movies to Enhance the Speaking Skill of the Students at Elementary Level. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/use-of-animated-short-movies-to-enhance-the-speaking-skill-of-the-students-at-elementary-level/
“Use of Animated Short Movies to Enhance the Speaking Skill of the Students at Elementary Level.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/use-of-animated-short-movies-to-enhance-the-speaking-skill-of-the-students-at-elementary-level/
Use of Animated Short Movies to Enhance the Speaking Skill of the Students at Elementary Level. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/use-of-animated-short-movies-to-enhance-the-speaking-skill-of-the-students-at-elementary-level/> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2023].
Use of Animated Short Movies to Enhance the Speaking Skill of the Students at Elementary Level [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/use-of-animated-short-movies-to-enhance-the-speaking-skill-of-the-students-at-elementary-level/
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