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Table 3.5: Benefits of CL in doing project
Figure 3.6: The frequency of using cooperative learning in
doing projectThe frequency of using group writing (%)
PART I: INTRODUCTION
Recently, cooperative learning (CL) has been a proper solution to enhance
learner’s performance. It has been widely believed that there are some sound
reasons to take CL into implementation but not other methods. Obviously, as
one of the most popular structures of learners-centered approach in the recent
years, cooperative activities have been widely used in language classroom,
especially in encouraging learner’s participation and improving their motivation
in learning. First, CL is highly appraised for their contribution to student's
achievement. It is beneficial both for academic achievement and the
development of the learners social and learning skill. Second, CL has a rigorous
foundation on research. Studies have been conducted and come to a conclusion
that CL are associated with achievement, high thinking level, self esteem, liking
for the subject matter, for schools and the intergroup relations. Furthermore,
many studies have proved that cooperative learning has positively influenced
students’ project-based learning (PBL) performance (William, 2003; Noel &
Robert, 2003; Graham, 2005). CL has enormous advantages over traditional one
because traditionally, students only communicate with the teacher about their
learning but in CL classrooms students are involved in group work and
discussions, which not only improves doing project assignments accuracy but
also betters their problem solving skills as well as establish a social atmosphere
and meaningful learning.
However, the real situation is always different from theory. According to
my observation, many students at Cam Khe High School find project a difficult
task, they find project hard to do, they only deal with tasks in class and they
don’t often learn at home. Moreover, most teachers often skip this part because
they found difficult to design classroom activities to attract students’
participation. They encounter lots of challenges in finding appropriate methods
to learn this part. And they often ask students to finish this part at home without
checking what their students had done. Obviously, students themselves often
neither study at class nor at home. One of the difficulties of students when
learning in doing project because this is a difficult task to them and it is absolute
new to them.
Moreover, despite the benefits of CL, there is still inadequate research on
the issue, especially in the context of Vietnam. Similarly, at Cam Khe High
School, there has been no research on the subject of improving students in doing
project by cooperative learning. For this reason, the researcher decided to carry
out a research on “A study on the using of cooperative learning in doing
project assignments of grade 10 students at Cam Khe High School”
2. Previous researches
2.1. In the world
Ahangari and Samadian (2014)conducted a study about “The effect of
cooperative learning activities on writing skills of Iranian EFL learners”. 50
students of Islamic Azad University were selected for their experimental study.
The outcomes of the study confirmed the effect of cooperative learning activities
on improving the components of writing skills such as content, organization,
vocabulary, language use and mechanics. The researchers suggested that writing
performance can be improved through small-group cooperative interaction
among peers in a supportive and stress-reduced environment.
Ilhan Ilter (2014) also had a study on “The efficacy of project-based
learning approach on Social Studies Education: Conceptual achievement and
academic motivation.” In this research, an experimental study was carried out in
social studies 4thgrade students' to develop students' conceptual achievement and
motivation to succeed academically. The study aims to investigate the
effectiveness of project-based learning (PBL) in social studies. The findings
indicated a statistically significant difference in favor of the experimental group
on the concept achievement and motivation. Students who participated in the
PBL environments not only enriched and expanded their knowledge but also
achieved a higher level of motivation than the control group. The PBL in team
format activities were provided to promote the experimental group students'
motivation to succeed academically and to develop their conceptual
achievement. The results demonstrated that the PBL improved students'
understanding regarding social studies concepts and helped them achieve the
behaviors which were aimed academically. The experimental group's intended
behaviors in academic motivation at the beginning of the experimental treatment
turned into performed behaviors at the end.
2.2. In Viet Nam
The study titled “ The effects of cooperative learning activities on
improving writing skills of EFL students at International school, Vietnam
National University a quasi experimental research” of (Tran Thi Lan Huong
2013) was conducted as an attempt to examine the perceptions of first-year EFL
learners towards CL to investigate their participation level and quality in CL,
find out possible influential factors on their participation, pinpoint teachers’
monitoring strategies to motivate students to participate in activities, and
recommend several pedagogical implications to motivate and balance their oral
The study titled “The Effect of Project-Based Learning on Student
Performance” by of ( Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang (2016 ) This study analyzed
the effectiveness of an alternate pedagogical approach in the form of standardsfocused project-based learning (PBL) teaching model in psychology classes.
Both the control and experimental groups initially adopted a negative attitude
when presented with an alternate method of learning. They viewed the group
project as an unnecessary task although the literature contradicts their initial
perception. Data analyzed found that the experimental group that engaged the
project and took responsibility for the learning of their peers scored significantly
higher on the multiple-choice exam when compared to the control group. No
significance was found in the second experimental group where majority of the
students did their part, but did not report feeling a sense of responsibility for the
learning of their peers. Key indicators for higher academic performance were: 1)
high self-efficacy; 2) high level of perceived control; and 3) growth mindset.
This is the first time the study “A study on the using of cooperative
learning in doing Project assignments of grade 10 students at Cam Khe High
School” is carried out in Cam Khe district. Different from other studies, it
focuses on studying CL in teaching and doing project assignments whereas the
above studies focus on different aspects.
3. Research purposes
The study aims at:
- Investigating the current situation in of teaching and learning “Project” part
in English 10 textbook at Cam Khe High school.
- Applying CL in teaching “Project” part in English 10 textbooks.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of CL in teaching “Project” part in textbook for
grade 10 students.
- Proposing some suggestions to improve CL activities for teaching and learning
project of grade 10 students at Cam Khe High school.
4. Research questions
In order to achieve the above-mentioned purposes, the study seeks to answer
the following questions:
1. How is “Project” part in English 10 textbooks is being implemented at Cam
Khe High School ?
2. How isto apply “ Cooperative learning” applied in doing “Project” part in
English 10 textbooks?
3. Is that activity effective in enhancing student’s performance in doing
5.1. Research methods
In order to accomplish this graduation paper systematically and
adequately, the quantitative and qualitative methods were used.
In the quantitative methods, two survey questionnaires were used to collect
information and evidence for the study:
-The survey questionnaires were for 42 grade 10 students at Cam Khe High
At the same time, in the qualitative method, two teachers’ interviews were used
to help the author confirm the results got from the survey questionnaires.
5.2. Research procedure
The research has been done with the following steps:
- Firstly, identify the rationale of the study by using the related documents to
give background of CL, doing “project” assignments and their related aspects.
- Secondly, study the current situation in doing project lessons for grade 10
students at Cam Khe High school.
- Thirdly, find out the effectiveness and difficulties when using CL in doing
- Lastly, propose some solutions in using CLfor grade 10 students in doing
project assignments based on the real situation.
56. Significance of the study
Although the study was conducted on a small scale with a particular
group of grade 10 students at Cam Khe high school, the researcher hoped that
its findings could be of great significance. This study is a contribution to an
understanding of the applicability of the cooperative learning to the teaching of
English in general and the teaching of projectwriting for academic purposes in
particular in the context of a Vietnamese high school. Besides, the findings of
the study will make a small contribution to the improvement in using CL in
doing project assignments of teachers and students of English in general and
those of Cam Khe High school in particular. In addition, the research also helps
the teachers and students apply CL more effectively, which may make doing
project assignments lessons more interesting, and students’ presenting skills are
67. Scope of the research
Due to time constraints, instead of studying the current situation of using
cooperative learning activities in a larger context, this study only focuses on
applying cooperative learning in doing project assignments for 42 students of
grade 10A4 at Cam Khe High school. Moreover, in this paper, due to the lack
of time and effort, I would solely discuss the use of CL in doing project
assignments, not the other parts of the lessons to determine its effectiveness
more clearly in the small context of grade 10 students at Cam Khe High
78. Design of the research
The research consists of three parts.
Part 1: Presents the overview of the study including the rationale for the
significance of the research, the scope of the research as well as the structure of
Part 2is sub-divided into four chapters:
Chapter 1 is the literature review. In this chapter, the literature on
cooperative learning and doing project are stated.
Chapter 2 focuses on the subjects of the study, discusses the instruments
and presents the data collection, analysis and research procedures.
Chapter 3 in which the current situation in applying cooperative learning
for grade 10 students at Cam Khe high schoo l lare provided.
Chapter 4 focuses on giving some major findings of the study and
suggesting some techniques for better using CL for grade 10 students in doing
Part 3 summarizes the study. Also in this part, the implications for
classroom practice, the limitations of the study and suggestions for further
studies are clearly presented.
In a nutshell, this part has presented the background, and significance of
the study. These contribute to the purposes and the research questions of this
study in teaching and studying doing project assignments at Cam Khe High
school. The present study also provided the scope of the study. An outline of
this study was given in the last of this part.
PART 2: CONTENT
CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
The purpose of this chapter is to provide information pertaining to this research,
which was obtained from reviewing the related literature and studies.
1.1. An overview of cooperative learning
1.1.1. Definition of cooperative learning
Since cooperative learning has recently drawn much interest and becomes
popular, a number of researches have been done to investigate the effectiveness
of this approach of teaching. It is beneficial to discover the definition of the term
cooperative learning (CL) to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the
approach. In general, CL is a strategy for group instruction which is under the
learner-centered approach. In detail, CL is ‘'an instructional program in which
students work in small groups to help one another master academic content.
They are a team whose platers must work together in pairs or groups to achieve
the goals successfully" (Brown, 2002).
In language learning contexts, CL is defined as within-class grouping of
students usually of different level of foreign language proficiency who learn to
work together on specific tasks for projects in such a way that all students in the
group benefit from the interactive experience. Students work together to
maximize their own and each other’s learning. According to Johnson and
Johnson (2005), CL is a teaching strategy in which small teams use a variety of
learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject, each member is
responsible for learning and helping classmates until they all understand and
complete the assigned task.
According to Stahl (2006), during the past decade, cooperative learning
has emerged as the leading new approach to language teaching. Numerous
research have revealed that CL tends to enable to achieve higher academic test
scores, higher self-esteem, greater numbers of positive social skills, greater
understanding of the content and skills they are studying. CL is especially
beneficial to language learners due to the fact that they are provided
comprehensive input m appropriate ways and in a supportive and motivating
environment (Kagan 2008). Additionally, Olsen and Kagan report some benefits
of the strategy-for language learning. First, in traditional classrooms, teachers
give students little time to produce language, especially weak students. On the
contrary, in cooperative classes, most of class tune is devoted to students ’
activities, and then they have many of chances to produce language, resulting in
their activeness and better communication. Furthermore, CL impacts positively
on language acquisition because small groups enrich language classroom with
comprehensible and accurate input. To sum up, as CL enhances language
development and the learning of concepts and contents, assigning students to
different groups is necessary for them to benefit more from English language
In conclusion, cooperative learning is an approach to group work that
minimizes the occurrence of those unpleasant situations and maximizes the
learning and satisfaction that result from working on a high-performance team.
A large and rapidly growing body of research confirms the effectiveness of
cooperative learning in higher education. Relative to students taught
traditionally with instructor-centered lectures, individual assignments, and
competitive grading cooperatively taught students tend to exhibit higher
academic achievement, greater persistence through graduation, better high-level
reasoning and critical thinking skills, deeper understanding of learned material,
greater time on task and less disruptive behavior in class, lower levels of anxiety
and stress, greater intrinsic motivation to learn and achieve, greater ability to
view situations from others’ perspectives, more positive and supportive
relationships with peers, more positive attitudes toward subject areas, and higher
self-esteem. Another nontrivial benefit for instructors is that when assignments
are done cooperatively, the number of papers to grade decreases by a factor of
three or four.
1.1.2. Benefits of cooperative learning in language education
CL is a good way to maximize learners’ academic achievement as well as
their social skills. Especially, highly structured CL enables them to improve their
own apprehension of the key materials while developing good relationship with
peers by encouraging and assisting them.
Firstly, according to Gillies & Ashman( 2003), the most obvious benefit
of CL for students fells into academic achievement. Most of the researches
conducted into the effectiveness of CL have positive findings. CL activities
supply learners with structured chances to collaborate to reach the common
goals in language acquisition. They help each others to benefit from their
contribution to the learning process. Working in groups enables learners to
provide each other with information, suggestions, reminders and motivation.
They not only achieve better results, develop their thinking and leadership skills
but also enjoy their learning with positive views towards other learners, good
self-esteem and a sense of belonging to a group.
Graham (2005)& Gillies & Ashman ( 2003), CL strategy was found to be
useful for both language education and other aspects such as motivational and
communicative activities, good relationship with participants and stress
Moreover, according to Gabriele (2007), in CL classrooms, lower students
learn much from strong partners because when working individually they may
get stuck, but collaborating with better students enable them to understand the
materials more easily.
In the second place, according to Graham(2005),cooperative learning
betters students socially and emotionally. CL helps learners to become better
communicators and listeners, cooperative members as well as effective leader of