An investigation into using supplementary materials in teaching english speaking skills at high school

Nowadays the use of teaching materials in English lessons becomes more necessary and popular.

The benefits of using supplementary materials have improved teaching and learning English. Since

the beginning of language studies, Second and Foreign Language Acquisition researchers have

been searching for effective methods to improving learners’ language skills. This study aimed at

investigating the use of supplementary sources on teaching speaking skills. Quantitative method is

chosen in this research by using the survey for teachers and students. Results of the study

demonstrate on the situation of supplementary materials in teaching process, the frequency use of

these materials and the effectiveness of materials in organizing activities as well as suggest some

solutions to enhance teaching speaking outcomes.

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 TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 64 - 69 
  Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 
AN INVESTIGATION INTO USING SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS 
IN TEACHING ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS AT HIGH SCHOOL 
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai 
1*
, Nguyen Thi Hoa
2
1TNU – School of Foreign Languages 
2TNU- International School 
ABSTRACT 
Nowadays the use of teaching materials in English lessons becomes more necessary and popular. 
The benefits of using supplementary materials have improved teaching and learning English. Since 
the beginning of language studies, Second and Foreign Language Acquisition researchers have 
been searching for effective methods to improving learners’ language skills. This study aimed at 
investigating the use of supplementary sources on teaching speaking skills. Quantitative method is 
chosen in this research by using the survey for teachers and students. Results of the study 
demonstrate on the situation of supplementary materials in teaching process, the frequency use of 
these materials and the effectiveness of materials in organizing activities as well as suggest some 
solutions to enhance teaching speaking outcomes. 
Keywords: Supplementary materials; teaching materials; speaking skills; teachers; teaching 
practice 
Received: 25/5/2020; Revised: 19/6/2020; Published: 22/6/2020 
 NGHIÊN CỨU SỬ DỤNG TÀI LIỆU BỔ TRỢ TRONG DẠY KỸ NĂNG NÓI 
 TIẾNG ANH TẠI TRƯỜNG TRUNG HỌC PHỔ THÔNG 
 Nguyễn Thị Thu Hoài1*, Nguyễn Thị Hoa2 
 1Khoa Ngoại ngữ - ĐH Thái Nguyên 
 2Khoa Quốc tế - ĐH Thái Nguyên 
TÓM TẮT 
 Ngày nay việc sử dụng tài liệu bổ trợ tiếng Anh trong giảng dạy đã trở nên cần thiết và phổ biến 
 hơn. Lợi ích của sử dung tài liệu đã góp phần nâng cao hiệu quả dạy và học tiếng Anh. Từ các 
 nghiên cứu đầu tiên về ngôn ngữ, các nhà nghiên cứu về tiếp nhận ngôn ngữ thứ hai và tiếp nhận 
 tiếng nước ngoài đã tìm các cách dạy học hiệu quả nhằm nâng cao kĩ năng ngôn ngữ của người 
 học. Nghiên cứu này với mục đích điều tra việc sử dụng tài liệu hỗ trợ trong giảng dạy kỹ năng nói 
 tiếng Anh. Phương pháp nghiên cứu định lượng được lựa chọn và áp dụng trong nghiên cứu, phiếu 
 khảo sát dùng cho giáo viên và học sinh. Kết quả nghiên cứu tập trung vào thực trạng sử dụng tài 
 liệu bổ trợ, mức độ thường xuyên sử dụng tài liệu và hiệu quả của việc sử dụng tài liệu hỗ trợ 
 trong giảng dạy và đề xuất một số giải pháp nâng cao chất lượng dạy kỹ năng nói tiếng Anh. 
 Từ khóa: Tài liệu bổ trợ; tài liệu giảng dạy; kỹ năng nói; giáo viên; thực hành giảng dạy. 
 Ngày nhận bài: 25/5/2020; Ngày hoàn thiện: 19/6/2020; Ngày đăng: 22/6/2020
 * Corresponding author. Email: tnhoai.sfl@tnu.edu.vn
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34238/tnu-jst.3186 
64 
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai et al. TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 64 - 69 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 65 
1. Introduction 
For many years, teaching English as a foreign 
language has played important roles in the 
development of society. Teachers try their 
best to find effective approaches of teaching 
English in different conditions. To achieve 
success within the teaching and learning 
process, teaching materials are an important 
part because teachers need rely on a diverse 
range of aids that can support students’ 
learning and reach teaching objectives. One 
of these aids is the use of supplementary 
materials that becomes an advantage for 
teachers if the materials are properly used, 
they will work effectively at the moment of 
imparting classes to the learners. 
According to [1], the use of supplementary 
materials has many advantages for foreign 
language (EFL) teachers and students in 
improving vocabulary and speaking skills. By 
using the materials, learners can enrich 
vocabulary easily, EFL teachers have the 
benefit of teaching vocabulary through context. 
In addition, researchers have studied the impact 
of visual and verbal clues on learning words in 
context. In this regard, Walters [2] reported that 
the results of reading comprehension were 
improved in the study of 11 ESL students 
(ranging in age from 17 to 47), enrolled in an 
English language program which were applied 
the strategies of how to derive meanings of 
unfamiliar words from context of reading 
materials in class and at home. 
Supplementary materials are considered as a 
promising tool for language learning 
purposes. Scholars in the field have proposed 
various advantages for the use of source in 
English as a second or foreign language 
(ESL/EFL) classes. Stern believes that 
supplementary materials offer potential 
benefits of a high order for ESL/EFL. 
Linguistically, they can help students master 
the vocabulary and grammar of the language 
as well as activate the four language skills: 
reading, writing, listening, and speaking [3]. 
It is worth mentioning that supplementary 
materials can be used to improve many sub-
skills in reading. Learners must be persuaded 
to predict what is going to occur by reading 
the title, the first paragraph and to induce 
what the passage will be about. Then, learners 
should be able to defend their imaginations 
with proofs from the text and the possible 
impact it may have on the reading 
performance of the passages [4]. According to 
[1], series regarding the passages and the 
short stories for the purpose of improving 
reading skills are all on the line of the same 
purposes and objectives. 
Results of some previous studies have been 
done to demonstrate the use of supplementary 
materials and the influences on teaching and 
learning process. For example, the study of 
Kelsen [5] aims to explore the use of 
YouTube as supplementary material with 
EFL students in Taiwan. Its limitations were 
that the questionnaires were only written in 
English, the self-reported nature of the survey 
may have led to students overstating their 
answers, the relative sample size was small, 
and all of the participants came from the same 
department. It meant that the results could not 
be extrapolated to the general student 
population. Another study made by Peacock 
[6] was to explore whether authentic materials 
increase the classroom motivation of learners, 
a claim often made, but rarely, if ever tested, 
which had as a limitation the generalizability 
of the results is limited by the small scale of 
the study and the level of the learners, who 
were all beginners. Finally, the study [7] was 
done to examine the effects of treating 
learners in a classroom to digital visual 
materials on a shared display, while 
interleaving such materials with scanned 
copies of relevant textbook pages, with no 
limitations identified. 
Using supplementary materials will create 
more interesting activities if the material is 
correctly selected in planning the lessons. 
When teachers choose one kind of material to 
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai et al. TNU Journal of Science and Technology
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 66 
use in each lesson, it is very important to 
consider its pertinence and appropriateness in 
order to achieve the proposed goals. Teachers 
decide to choose a great variety of 
supplementary materials such as visual, 
audio, audiovisual, online and others; 
however, just some teachers are using them 
regularly. Therefore, it is necessary to 
investigate the situation of using 
supplementary materials in teaching English, 
especially speaking skills at high schools. The 
purpose of this study is to survey the 
application of supplementary materials in 
teaching process, the frequency use of these 
materials and the effectiveness of materials in 
organizing activities. 
2. Methodology 
2.1. Research questions 
1. How often do teachers apply supplementary 
materials in teaching speaking? 
2. What are teachers’ opinions about 
supplementary materials used in speaking 
activities? 
3. What are learners’ reflections about 
supplementary materials? 
2.2. Participants 
The first group of participant in this study 
consisted of 10 English teachers at Tran Quoc 
Tuan and Dao Duy Tu high schools in Thai 
Nguyen. The second group was students who 
studied at high schools in grade 10 and grade 
11 (200 students). 
2.3. Data collection instrument 
The questionnaires were used as the main data 
collection instrument for the study. In the 
study, the questionnaires were designed for 
teachers and students. They concentrated on 
the kinds of supplementary materials in 
teaching practice; the frequency of using 
supplementary materials; effective materials 
used in teaching English and learners’ 
reflection about supplementary materials. The 
questionnaires were designed following Likert 
scales with four responses. Each of them 
 225(11): 64 - 69 
would have a numerical value which would be 
used to measure frequency and agreement. 
2.4. Data analysis 
Data of the questionnaires were converted 
into statics, numbers and percentage in the 
form of tables and charts for the purpose of 
comparison and analysis. The kinds of 
materials, the frequency of using materials 
and effectiveness of materials in teaching 
were calculated for comparison and contrast 
by using Google drive and Excel. 
2.5. Data collection procedure 
Initially, the questionnaire was delivered to 
teachers to see the situation of using 
supplementary materials in teaching English. 
The second questionnaire was sent to learners 
at the same time of teachers in order to collect 
information about learners’ reflection. All the 
data was collected to synthesize and analyze. 
3. Findings and discussion 
3.1. Findings 
 Figure 1. Materials used in teaching 
As can be seen from the Figure 1, when 
teaching speaking, teachers used variety 
kinds of supplementary materials for 
speaking activities and dialogue with 72%, 
70% respectively of materials in class while 
there were 40% of materials used in reading, 
pronunciation and grammar lessons. 50% of 
supplementary materials were applied in 
both writing and listening activities. 
Teachers used 60% of materials in teaching 
vocabulary in order to have better outcomes 
in teaching and learning.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai et al. TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 64 - 69 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 67 
Figure 2. Frequency of using the materials for speaking activities 
Figure 2 shows that pictures, images, power point, blackboard and games were used regularly in 
all speaking activities in class. The second popular materials were chosen by teachers including 
flashcards, posters, cloze activities, stories and language quiz. Teachers often used these 
materials in teaching speaking skills. In addition, teachers sometimes chose things, objects, maps, 
pictograms, graphs, music, songs and videos in teaching speaking. It is noticeable to see that 
teachers rarely used cartoons, comics, movies and drama as supplementary materials. 
Figure 3. Teachers’ perspective about the effectiveness of materials 
As can be seen from Figure 3, teachers pointed out their perspective about the effectiveness of 
supplementary materials in speaking activities. Most kinds of materials (11/17 materials) were 
highly appreciated in teaching because they could bring effectiveness for learners. There were 
three materials belong to less effective group. During the time of teaching, teachers found that 
maps, pictograms, graphs, comics and dramas were not effective in organize activities. 
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai et al. TNU Journal of Science and Technology 225(11): 64 - 69 
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 68 
Figure 4. Leaners’ reflection about 
supplementary materials 
It can be seen in the Figure 4 that students felt 
delighted and motivated when learning with 
supplementary materials prepared by teachers 
in each lesson. Students chose 50% of those 
materials in interesting group and defined one 
third of all materials for the less interesting 
materials (35%). The rest of the materials 
were reflected to be uninteresting. 
3.2. Discussion 
The purpose of this study was to explore the 
real life situations in using supplementary 
materials during the time of teaching speaking 
and the effectiveness of using supplementary 
materials on learning English. Teachers 
applied many kinds of supplementary 
materials in each English period. The findings 
indicated that using variety kinds of 
supplementary materials is effective in 
improving learning outcomes. Learners felt 
excited and were motivated in taking part in 
speaking tasks. Both students and teachers 
reflected that using visual aids, games, music 
and power point were effective in teaching. 
Activities attracted learners by using variety 
kinds of materials in learning English; 
therefore, they would not feel bored during 
the lessons. It was clear that applying 
supplementary materials in teaching would 
lead to greater concentration for learners in 
learning. 
With the chosen materials, teachers were not 
the sole presenters of materials, learners 
would take cooperative attitude in learning. 
As a result, the classroom would be a friendly 
atmosphere where optimal learning occurs. 
Deployment of supplementary materials 
brings more benefits for teachers and students 
in teaching and learning English. 
4. Conclusion and Recommendations 
4.1. Conclusion 
As mentioned, this study aimed to survey the 
situation of applying supplementary materials 
including kinds of materials, frequency use of 
materials in English periods, perspective of 
teachers and learners about effectiveness of 
these materials in teaching and learning 
English speaking skills. The results of the 
study can illustrate that applying and 
designing supplementary materials in 
language teaching can be effective in teaching 
practice at high school. Taking advantages of 
such supplementary sources will promote 
students' motivation and students' interest 
inside classroom and outside classroom 
participation. 
4.2. Recommendations 
- Teachers should spend more time on using 
supplementary materials such as comics, 
movies, blackboard or stories in terms of 
designing activities inside classroom as well 
as outside classroom. 
- When designing English activities, teachers 
should care about learners’ needs, learners’ 
knowledge and content of the lessons in order 
to choose appropriate materials and organize 
activities effectively. 
- Teachers should ask students to give 
feedbacks for the use of supplementary 
materials, therefore, they can change the 
kinds of materials for the following tasks 
because there are differences between 
teachers’ perspective and learners’ 
feedback about the effectiveness of 
supplementary materials. 
- When planning and designing materials in 
each lesson, teachers should discuss with 
Nguyen Thi Thu Hoai et al. TNU Journal of Science and Technology
 Email: jst@tnu.edu.vn 69 
colleagues or instructors to receive useful 
feedbacks before teaching. 
- Since the technology is in progress 
everyday, it is necessary for teachers to 
update online supplementary materials in 
teaching. Consequently, students will have 
more chance to use these sources at school 
and at home. For achieving this goal, the 
institutions should implement courses or 
seminaries about the new sources that exists 
on websites to use in the classroom. 
- Things and objects should be used frequently 
in speaking tasks in order to raise interest and 
curiosity of the students and make the lessons 
more interesting and motivating. 
REFERENCES 
[1]. G. Chwo, A. Jonas, C. Tsai and C. Chuang, 
“Adopting supplementary material to enhance 
listening and speaking strategy used by 
Taiwanese college EFL learners,” 2010. 
[Online]. Available: 
9/25-41.pdf. [Accessed May 11, 2019]. 
 225(11): 64 - 69
[2]. J. Walters, “Methods of teaching inferring 
 meaning from context,” Regional Language 
 Centre Journal, vol. 37, no.2, pp.176-190, 2006.
[3]. S. L. Stern, “An Integrated Approach to 
 Literature in ESL/EFL,” in Teaching English as 
 a Second or Foreign Language, M. Celce- 
 Murcia Ed. Heinle & Heinle, 2001, pp.328-329.
[4]. Y. M. Goodman and A. B. Carolyn, Reading 
 Miscue Inventory Manual Procedure For 
 Diagnosis And Evaluation, New York: 
 Macmillan Publishing, 2007.
[5]. B. Kelsen, “Teaching EFL to the iGeneration: A 
 survey of using YouTube as supplementary 
 material with college EFL students in Taiwan,” 
 CALL-EJ Online, New York: Macmillan 
 Publishing, vol.10, no.2, pp.1-18, 2009. 
[6]. M. Peacock, “The effect of authentic materials 
 on the motivation of EFL learners,” ELT 
 Journal, vol. 51, pp.144-156, 1997.
[7]. S. Panjwani, L. Micallef, K. Fenech and K. 
 Toyama, “Effects of integrating digital visual 
 materials with textbook scans in the 
 classroom,” International Journal of 
 Education and Development using ICT, vol.5, 
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