Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
As the international language in the era of globalization,English is the mostwidely used language in the world.English is not merely an instrument for languagecommunication,but also a bridge and a medium for information and culturaltransmission.As a language subject,English has always been a major subject forChinese students in learning,and it is also a required test for various examinations.Therefore,the development of English teaching has received extensive attention fromteachers,students,parents and people from various fields.
In the newly issued English Curriculum Standards for Compulsory Education(2022 Edition),there are clear requirements for students’comprehensive languagecompetence in the compulsory education stage.For example,students should be ableto use natural intonation in specific situations,to conduct situational dialogues basedon topics,express their own opinions,correct mistakes and etc.Undoubtedly,thelearning of English in compulsory education requires students to be able tocommunicate in English,and to regard learning English as a communicative tool,rather than just a course learned in school.Some cities have already added oralEnglish tests in the high school entrance examination for the purpose of furtherimproving the students’oral English,such as Beijing,Shenzhen,and Shanghai,indicating that there is already a tendency to focus on oral English.This means thatstudents not only have to learn the written knowledge in English classes,but alsoshould communicate with others in fluent oral English,which further emphasizes theimportance of oral English teaching in the teaching process.
1.2 Purpose and Significance
After analyzing the research background of this study,this part will discuss themain purpose and great significance of this study.
This study is an empirical study,which uses formulaic sequences teaching modefrom the perspective of memetics to conduct oral English teaching experiment in ajunior high school.Firstly,it tends to explore an effective teaching method based onformulaic sequences and memetics.Secondly,through the experiment,the study aimsto improve students’awareness of formulaic sequences,guide students to notice,anduse more formulaic sequences in the future English learning.Thirdly,this study aimsto investigate the influence of formulaic sequences teaching on the junior high schoolstudents’oral English.This study carries out the experiment with the purpose ofimproving students’spoken English accuracy,fluency,and the language complexity,so that students can gradually have more confidence in oral English learning.Apartfrom it,this research also aims to verify the correlation between the use of formulaicsequences and the oral English,so as to explore the feasibility of formulaic sequencesteaching in junior high school oral English teaching and offer some pedagogicalsuggestions to the application of formulaic sequences to the oral English teaching.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Studies on Memetics
Memetics first emerged in foreign countries and was first introduced intodomestic academia by Professor He Ziran in the early 20th century.Memeticsprovides new ideas for language research and teaching.This part will give specificexplanations about the definition,the related researches of memetics at home andabroad.
2.1.1 Definition of Memetics
Memetics was first proposed by Professor Richard Dawkins in 1976,awell-known scholar of Oxford University.Dawkins came up with the term“meme”,in his book The Selfish Gene,in order to explain the laws of human evolution.Memetics studies the replication,transmission and evolution of memes.The word“meme”is derived from the Greek word“mimeme”and is spelled similarly to gene.The term meme was proposed on the basis of Darwin’s evolutionary law.Gene is thebasic unit of human inheritance,and meme is the basic unit of cultural transmission.Ameme is an idea or awareness that is spread among people by imitating each other andit’s a pattern of information in an individual’s memory that can be copied from oneperson’s memory to another.The core of meme is imitation.(Blackmore,1999).Language is one of the carriers of memes,which lives through imitation andpropagation.Memes are transmitted and replicated through the use of language.At thesame time,language itself is a meme,which can be expressed at the level of words,sentences and even discourse.
2.2 Studies on Formulaic Sequence
There are many studies about formulaic sequences.This part will give specificexplanations about the definition,classification,functions,the related studies offormulaic sequences at home and abroad,as well as the relationship betweenmemetics and formulaic sequences.
2.2.1 Definition of Formulaic Sequence
Scholars and linguists have different views on formulaic sequences.As a result,there are many different terms to represent it,such as formulaic sequences,lexicalsentence stem,unanalyzed chunks of speech,chunks,formulas and etc.
Formulaic sequence was first proposed by Becker in 1975.He referes it asformulaic frames analyzed slots.He argues that language input and output is notbased on a word.Furthermore,He points out that human communication is based on fixed or semi-fixed patterned plate structures(Becker,1975).Pawley and Syder(1983)use lexicalized sentence stems to refer it.They believethat formulaic sequences are lexicalized sentences whose grammatical compositionand lexical content are essentially fixed.
Chapter Three Research Design.........................22
3.1 Research Questions.................................22
3.2 Research Subjects...................................22
Chapter Four Results and Discussion.....................................32
4.1 Data Collection and Analysis of Questionnaire...........................32
4.2 Data Collection and Analysis of Tests...............................40
Chapter Five Conclusion...................................64
5.1 Major Findings......................................64
5.2 Limitations of the Study..................................65
Chapter Four Results and Discussion
4.1 Data Collection and Analysis of Questionnaire
In order to find out the changes of students’interest,confidence and learningstrategies towards oral English,the author distributed questionnaires before and afterthe experiment in the two classes during the whole research process.A total of 120questionnaires were distributed and 120 valid questionnaires were returned.In orderto make sure the test is reliable,the reliability test was adopted before the experiment,and the results are as follows.
According to the statistics,we can see the Cronbach’s Alpha is 0.879,which ishigher than 0.8.It means the reliability of this questionnaire is very high.To ensurethe test is valid,the validity test was adopted.According to the results of theexploratory factor analysis in table 4.2,it can be seen that the coefficient of the KMOtest is 0.763,which is above 0.7.It means the validity of the test is good.According tothe significance of the Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity,it can be seen that the significanceof this test is 0,so the statistics can be further analyzed.
Chapter Five Conclusion
5.1 Major Findings
From the findings and discussions in the previous chapters,the followingconclusions can be summarized to explain each of my research questions.
(1)After nine weeks of experiment,the students’oral English has improvedsignificantly.Through the comparison of the two classes,we can conclude thatstudents’oral fluency,accuracy and complexity have all been improved.In thepost-test,students in the experimental class have higher speech rate,indicating thatstudents produced more syllables in every minute.The increase in articulation timeand the average length of run indicate that students have fewer pauses,and thereduction of average run of pause.In regard to accuracy,students improved in bothlexical accuracy and grammatical accuracy.Meanwhile,the students’improvement ingrammatical accuracy is more obvious.Students output more correct sentences intheir oral expressions,which means that the ratio of correct sentences to all sentencesin the post-test increased significantly compared with the results of the pre-test.As forthe complexity,the students in the experimental class also show an increase in thepost-test.More diverse vocabularies are used in students’oral expressions.On thecontrary,from the statistics of the control class,it can be concluded that studentsalmost remain the same in terms of interest,confidence,oral fluency,accuracy,aswell as complexity before and after the teaching experiment,which suggests that theordinary teaching method is not effective in improving students’oral English.Ingeneral,formulaic sequences language teaching method has a positive impact onimproving students’oral fluency,accuracy and language complexity.