I. Rationale of the study. It is undeniable that English is an international language. English is considered as the medium of communication in many different fields such as: science, technology, aviation, international sport, diplomacy, and so on. English is also the official language of many international organizations, such as: ASEAN, WTO, WHO, UN, etc. With the spread of globalization and the rapid expansion of informational and technologies, there has been an explosion in the demand for English worldwide. In Vietnam, in recent years, the study of English has gained momentum. Because it is partly the change in education policies of our government, and partly the people’s need. English has been widely taught in schools, universities, companies as well as in organizations. There are also many different English teaching programs available on radio, television and internet. It is widely accepted that one of the main purposes of studying English is to use it for communications. Being able to speak English is an important criterion to assess a learner of English. However, it is a common issue at my school that the students rarely speak English, even in English classes, though they have been learning English since they started at the lower secondary school. Being a teacher of a high school, within my minor thesis, I would like to investigate the reasons of the students’ inhibition and unwillingness to speak English, and I hope to be able to make some recommendations that can help the students overcome their inhibition and unwillingness, and thereby improve their speaking skills. This actually drives the researcher to the study thesis, namely “A study on improving English Speaking skills to 10th-form minority students at Gia Phu High School in the New Set of English Textbook”. II. Aims of the study. The study is aimed at: • Investigating the current English speaking teaching and learning situations of grade 10 at Gia Phu High School. • Identifying the factors which make the students inhibited or unwilling to speak English in class. • Making some suggestions for the teachers at Gia Phu High School with the hope of helping the students overcome their inhibition and unwillingness, and thereby improve their speaking skills. • Suggesting some realistic and appropriate class teaching techniques with the hope that they can enhance the learners in speaking skills. III. Scope of the study. To improve speaking skills for the students at Gia Phu High School, various activities can be used, and a number of things should be done. However, the researcher only intends to overview a brief of the current situations of teaching and learning English speaking skills of grade 10 at Gia Phu High School, and to identify the factors which make the students inhibited and unwilling to speak English, and to make some recommendations to motivate students to speak English more. IV. Method of the study. To realize the aims of the study, quantitative and qualitative methods have been used. The data collected for the study came from two sources: the 10th- form student respondents and the teacher-respondents at Gia Phu High School, Son La province. Two questionnaires, one for students and the other for teachers, and an interview of teachers are going to be used to collect information and evidence for the study. All the comments, remarks, recommendations and conclusions provided in the study are based on the data analysis.
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