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      初高中英語教學銜接的調查研究—以忻州一中為例

      發布時間:2023-06-28 10:43
      Contents
      Abstract I
      摘要 III
      Tables and Figures V
      Abbreviations VII
      1.Introduction 1
      1.1Background of the Research 1
      1.2Purpose and Significance of the Research 1
      1.2.1Purpose of the Research 1
      1.2.2Significance of the Research 2
      1.3Framework of the Thesis 4
      2.Literature Review 5
      2.1The Definitions of the Transition 5
      2.2The Concept of Non-intellectual Factors 6
      2.2.1The Impact of Interest on English Learning 6
      2.2.2The Impact of Emotion on English Learning 7
      2.2.3The Impact of Will on English Learning 7
      2.2.4The Impact of Motivation on English Learning 8
      2.3Related Research Abroad and at Home 8
      2.3.1Related Research Abroad 8
      2.3.2Related Research at Home 11
      3.Theoretical Framework of the Research 13
      3.1Constructivism Learning Theory 13
      3.2Zone of Proximal Development 14
      4.Research Methodology 15
      4.1Research Questions 15
      4.2Research Subjects 15
      4.2.1Teachers' Basic Information 16
      4.2.2Students' Basic Information 17
      4.3ResearchInstruments 18
      4.3.1Questionnaire 18
      4.3.2Interview 19
      4.4ResearchProcedures 19
      4.5 DataCollection 20
      5.Results and Discussion 21
      5.1AnalysisoftheQuestionnaire 21
      5.1.1Analysis of the Cognition for English Learning during theETT 21
      5.1.2Analysis of the English Textbook 23
      5.1.3AnalysisoftheExtracurricularResourcesofEnglishLearning 27
      5. 1 .4 Analysis of in-Class English Teaching and Learning 28
      5.1.5Analysis of English Learning Environment 33
      5.2Analysis oftheInterview 36
      5.2.1Interview with Students ofGradeOne 36
      5.2.2InterviewwithEnglishTeachersofGradeOne 38
      6.Conclusion 41
      6.1Major Findings 41
      6.2ResearchImplications 43
      6.3Limitations 44
      6.4Suggestions for the Further Research 45
      Bibliography 47
      Appendix A 51
      Appendix B 53
      Appendix C 55
      Appendix D 57
      Acknowledgements 59
      1.Introduction
      1.1Background of the Research
      Senior middle school education is a crucial part of Chinese elementary education. During the senior middle school years, students' personalities and psychology characteristics are changing into maturity. The first year in senior middle school, as the transitional stage, plays a very important role in shaping students' personalities and cultivating their learning habits, which basically determines whether students can adapt to senior middle school life well or not.
      Having passed the senior middle school entrance examination, students entered the senior middle school. They are learning in the new environment, and it is inevitable that there will be something unsuitable. The teaching objectives, teaching methods and so on in senior middle school are quite different from those in junior middle school (Perry.2007). In this period, if the schools does not focus on these differences and the teachers does not give appropriate guidance to students, they will be tired of learning and the enthusiasm of learning English will fall dramatically. This situation will not only affect the students' performance, but also affect the teacher's teaching quality and teaching effectiveness. Students who are poor in the fundamental English knowledge will suffer many difficulties in preparing for college entrance examination or even their further English learning, while English teaching is a systematic and coherent process. Both teachers and students should pay attention to the transition of English teaching and learning between junior middle school and senior middle school, and reasonable measures should be taken to pass this period smoothly.
      Therefore, the author takes the students in Xinzhou No.1 Middle School as the research subject to further analyze the problems that students will be faced with during the transition period. Then the reasons were analyzed in the thesis.
      1.2Purpose and Significance of the Research
      1.2.1Purpose of the Research
      The author conducted in-depth research on English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools, which is to achieve the following aims. First and foremost, teachers can concentrate on the most practical problems faced by students who are just entering high school, based on students' actual situation. Thus, the relationship between English teachers and students can be enhanced and their teaching qualities can be improved to some extent. Secondly, the learning efficiency also can be improved. And it maybe push students adapt to the new environment quickly. At the same time, it can help students to enhance their self-confidence and cultivate their interest in learning English. Finally, centering on the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools is beneficial for English teaching reform and cultivating efficient classroom, which can provide reference for other English teachers or even other researchers.
      1.2.2Significance of the Research
      (1) Theoretical significance
      “The Ordinary Senior Middle School English Curriculum Standards” (Ministry of Education, 2017) mentions that English curriculum of the senior middle school is a natural extension of the compulsory English courses and is an important part of the elementary education curriculum. But there are some differences in teaching aims between junior middle school and senior middle school. In junior middle school, English teachers concentrate on the training of students' English basic skills in listening and speaking, while English teachers in senior middle school focuses on the training of higher level skills, especially their reading and writing skills. Chen Wenting (2018,14:58-59) pointed out that the purpose of learning language is not only to acquire language knowledge, but also to master language skills. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to conduct the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools. The skills training should be transformed from the fundamental knowledge to comprehensively practical skill in English.
      In addition, there are differences in English textbooks arrangement in these two different stages. The contents of senior middle school English textbooks are more abundant, and the information and knowledge extension is more substantial. The grammar items and the sentences structure are more complicated. All these changes make students in grade one of senior middle school be prone to be fed up with learning English or even want to give up it. Therefore, it is necessary for senior middle school teachers to use relevant theories to guide students, making them adapt to senior middle school learning and help them develop diligent learning habits. Ellis.R (1997) believes that after having mastered a set of theories about language learning, teachers should perfect them in practice, which can improve teaching efficiency. Shu Baimei (2009) proposed that with the updating of teaching materials, teachers are required to comprehensively master the scientific teaching methods in the student-centered classroom, reflecting the leading role of teachers in class. Only when teachers use scientific theories and advanced teaching concepts to guide teaching can the foundation of the overall development of students be laid. This thesis will enrich the research of English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools, and provide reference for the further research.
      (2) Practical significance
      At present, the problems of differentiation and discomfort existing in senior middle school students' English learning have bothered English teachers and students, and also have become a serious obstacle to improve the quality of English teaching. Therefore, solving this problem is good for a large number of students to study English smoothly, which is conducive to improve the teaching quality of English and to the implementation of quality-oriented education in China.
      In addition, the “Ordinary Senior Middle School English Curriculum Standards” (Ministry of Education, 2017) mentions that teachers should analyze the teaching materials and understand students' needs. At present, with modern science and technology roaring, the requirements of high-quality talents are becoming higher and higher, and so are English teachers. Hu Dehai (2013) pointed out in his book, The Principles of Education, the personality quality of a teacher is an important factor affecting the growth of students. Therefore, considering the actual needs of teaching, English teachers in the first year of senior middle school have to creatively do the teaching transition between junior middle school and senior middle school to improve their professional quality and teaching ability through teaching practice, so as to better teach and influence students.
      Therefore, this research intends to find the problems and their reasons existing in the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools and explore what senior middle school English teachers can do during this period. This research serves multiple purposes. On the one hand, it is helpful to perfect and improve the quality of English teaching in senior middle school. On the other hand, it can promote the all-round development of students and bring up outstanding talents for socialist modernization.
      1.3Framework of the Thesis
      This thesis includes six parts. The first part is the introduction, including the research background, purpose and significance of this thesis. The second part is the literature review. Through reading some thesis related to English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools at home and abroad, the author summarizes predecessors' researching results and disadvantages. The third part is the theoretical basis, mainly expounding Piaget's constructivism learning theory and Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, which will provide theoretical support for the research in this thesis. The fourth part is the research methodology, including research questions, research purposes, research subjects, research instruments and research procedures. The fifth part is the result and discussion to find the problems existing in the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools, and explore the reasons of them from three sides: students, teachers and teaching materials. The sixth part arrives at some conclusions, including research findings, research limitations, and some ideas for further research.
      2.Literature Review
      2.1The Definitions of the Transition
      The definition of “transition” in Modern Chinese Dictionary (Seventh Edition, 2016) is that “Things are connected”. But there are some different definitions of the “transition”, defined by different authorities from different angles.
      Kagan (1991:132-151) argues that if transition is applied to the experience continuity, it can be seen as a strategy to overcome discontinuities.
      Neuman (2002: 8-22) applied Kagan's view (the experience continuity), to education and teaching, and he believed that students should experience some “vertical transition”, such as students entering the kindergarten from the family, then from kindergarten to elementary school. In addition, students switch in different places, such as from families to schools, schools to the outside world, which is called “horizontal transition”. The vertical and horizontal transition work together for students. Students gain experience in the process of transition and form their understanding for the outside world.
      In 1996, China firstly used the term “transition”, in the “Notice on the transition between the teaching content in math and English of senior middle school and the curriculum reform of junior middle school” to reflect the connection between different learning stage. With the continuous development of society and the improvement of education, the term, “transition” has been widely used in the field of education, and it has spawned many research topics on “education transition”. The English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools refers to English education activities based on the relatively independent teaching system in junior middle school and senior middle school to prevent disconnection of two stages (Liu, 2014,12:54-55).
      After doing the research on the secondary vocational education and higher vocational education, Chen Aiguo (2001:6-8) believed that "transition" refers to the connection in two educational stages, which includes training objectives, professional settings, training specifications, internal education system, and curriculum setting.
      Tian Jianbo (2005) studied the education in middle school and university, and believed that “transition” refers to establish a continuous, long-term and good cooperative relationship between two stages, which is beneficial for the development of subject construction, after-school education and moral education in order to finally achieve the coordination and 5
      scientific development of education.
      The teaching transition between junior middle school and senior middle school mentioned by the author refers to the connection between the “teaching” of English teachers and the “learning”of students in the two stages. The key issue to be solved is that teachers should build connection between two stages in the first year of senior middle school to guide students cross the gap smoothly, so that follow-up education can be carried out smoothly. During this period, whether students actively cooperate with teachers is the key to success, and teachers only play a guiding role. Besides, the author knows that the teaching transition between junior middle school and senior middle school involves many aspects, such as English textbooks, teaching methods, English teaching environment and so on. As far as I am concerned, the author think that the teaching transition between junior middle school and senior middle school refers to that teachers further strengthen and optimize students' learning methods and learning habits in the first year of senior middle school, which is based on the students' existing learning methods and established language experience. After that, the author hope that the senior middle school students finally develop a learning mechanism that not only is in line with the senior middle school English learning rules but also meets the senior middle school English syllabus.
      2.2The Concept of Non-intellectual Factors
      2.2.1The Impact of Interest on English Learning
      Interest is an important factor, which is included in the theory of non-intellectual factors. Comenius (1996), who is a famous Czech educator, stressed that if children have interest in something, it will promote their development of physical health and intelligence, which can reflect the importance of interest as a non-intellectual factor in learning. Interest is closely related to the need of spirit. If people are interested in something, they will can't stand studying it and make great efforts for it. As an invisible motivation, people will concentrate on something that they are interested in and do it with happiness. If students is interested in the knowledge, he will learn it with positive emotions and a correct learning attitude, which will urge him to learn continuously. However, if students feel wearisome about the learning content and lose the enthusiasm of learning, they will easily give it up and do not want to continue learning (Liu, 2007:184).
      Interest is the best teacher. At the stage of just entering senior middle school, students in grade one have strong interest in everything in senior middle school, and it is true of learning English. At this stage, teachers should know more about students by observing students' interest points. Then teachers should adopt a reasonable and scientific way to cultivate and increase students' interest in learning English. If students are keen on learning English, they will try their best to learn it well. Instead of taking learning words and grammar items as a difficult task, they will actively use their own methods to explore knowledge and solve problems.
      2.2.2The Impact of Emotion on English Learning
      Emotion is an experience emerging from people's attitude towards something whether can meet their own needs. Positive emotion enhances students' learning enthusiasm. As a result, students may quickly adapt to the new stage of English learning. With a pleasant and relaxed mood, students can memorize something better and acquire knowledge more efficiently. On the contrary, if the students are worried about everything in the new environment, they may don't concentrate on learning, which will interfere the entire cognitive process and reduce the level of intellectual activity (Tang, 2006: 4-11).
      If students can acclimatize themselves to the new environment quickly after entering senior middle school, they will have a relaxing and happy time at school, which is good for their learning. On the contrary, if students can't adapt to the new environment, they may will not adapt to the new teachers even their new classmates, which will decrease their learning effectiveness.
      For newly enrolled senior middle school students, teachers should actively help them adapt to the new environment and try to shorten their adaptive period (Jia,2004;78-80). During the teaching period, teachers should encourage students in a sincere manner through various methods. Besides, creating relaxed and pleasant learning atmosphere is also essential, which can make students feel happy in learning.
      2.2.3The Impact of Will on English Learning
      Will refers to the positive role of consciousness, a emotion that can make people achieve the learning purpose by consciously organizing their own behaviors and overcoming the difficulties associated with psychological processes (Feng,2008:167-168). Because English learning is a long-term and arduous intellectual activity, only a firm will can guarantee students to persist in learning and obtain excellent results.
      Before entering high school, many students may have heard that English learning in senior middle school is difficult. At the beginning of senior middle school, they may are afraid of learning English and feel that they maybe are not good at learning it, which is definitely bad for English learning. However, if students have a firm will to learn English well, they can face difficulties in the learning process and believe that they can overcome them.
      2.2.4The Impact of Motivation on English Learning
      Learning motivation is an internal power that directly promotes student' learning. Learning motivation has a great influence on student' learning career (Hu,2005:2). It not only affects students studying ways, but also affects the learning process and their grades. Students, who just entered the new environment, may will change their learning motivation. At this time, teachers should not only spend more time stimulating and cultivating students' learning motivation, but also should put it into practice during the teaching process. If teachers can know the changes of their English learning motivation between junior middle school and senior middle school and guide them scientifically, students will develop correct motivation for learning English at the first year of the senior middle school, which is of great help for their further English learning. Teachers should actively understand the needs of students to promote the generation of their appropriate learning motivation.
      2.3Related Research Abroad and at Home
      2.3.1Related Research Abroad
      The issue of the transition in foreign countries has been valued by educators since ancient times. Although it was not proposed at the time in the form of systematic concept, educators practiced the “ education transition” either in theory or in practice.
      In the 17th century, Comenius, the famous Czech educator, proposed the world's first monorail school system (as cited in Chen,1996:127-141). He believed that it would be unwise to send a child to school without preparing for it. When children enter primary school, it is necessary for them to have a spiritual transition. Let them understand that learning is not a chore but a very happy entertainment game. The concept of transition brings a good inspiration to the further research on the transition education.
      Since the 20th century, the western academic field has concentrated on the issue of education transition (as cited in Xue,2012:3-4). Among the countries that paid great attention to the transition of education, the US education department has proposed some solutions to solve it. The “6-4-4” program is a representative educational program in the United States. This program defines American studies as follows: grades 1 to 6 belongs to primary school; grades 7 to 10 belongs to junior middle school and grades 11 to 14 belongs to senior middle school. In this plan, a very prominent point is that the original US senior middle school system, including grades 9 to 14, has changed. And it is divided into two stages, meaning two years studying in junior middle school and another two years studying in senior middle school, to help students adapt to the transition in different learning stage. The UK has also implemented a number of educational policies to help students adapt to different learning stages. On the one hand, the “continuing education stage” between the compulsory education stage and the higher education stage is a specialized education transition stage, which can reflect that the UK has centered on the education transition. On the other hand, the setting of the UK transition curriculum also reflects the development of educational transition. In the 1930s, Japan began to carry out relevant secondary education reform. One of the goals was to improve the transition teaching quality during different stages of primary compulsory education and to emphasis the importance of the teaching transition. In the 1940s, Russian preschool teaching and research section studied the applicability of introducing systematic and organized teaching into kindergartens, which led to a transitional class. In the subsequent research, the kindergarten system transformed from the “kindergarten to primary school” to the “kindergarten to preschool then to primary school”. Many countries, such as the former Soviet Union and Germany, had also promoted this special system.
      Peak (1993) verified that teachers plays a leading role in the changes from the indulgence behavior of two-year-old children to self-reliance behavior of two-year-old children in their article from the perspective of a foreigner, using the methods of classroom observations, case analysis and interview with parents.
      Jennifer (1997) pointed out that all students in American public schools need to experience a transition between junior middle school and senior middle schools, but the author also believed that the implementation of the teaching transition had been affected because education experts didn't pay enough attention to incoherence between different stage.
      Scrivener (2002) put forward that there should be a connection between new knowledge and old knowledge. Therefore, teachers' teaching methods must take the order and methods of new textbooks into account to ensure the transition between new textbook and old textbook.
      Robert (2003) pointed out that the convergence between primary school and secondary school may have an impact on the development of adolescents and the success of learning in his article. The author conducted a survey of 199 sixth-grade students and found that the school environment has the greatest impact among the three factors: school environment, teacher management and peer relationships. Therefore, measures must be taken to reduce the anxiety of students during the connection period.
      Lawrence (2010) believes that the process of human cognition is the process of linking the newly acquired information with the psychological framework formed by previous learning to form his own knowledge structure. To make the process smoothly, teachers should focus on the education transition in their teaching process.
      Mawoyo (2011) studied the seventh grade students in Cape Town, South Africa, and explored the factors that hinder or promote the transition between junior middle school and senior middle schools for providing parents and teachers some operable suggestions.
      Wilcock (2012) provided some practical advice for teachers and parents in the book, The Transition Tightrope: Supporting Students in Transition to Secondary School. For example, parents should help students develop a positive attitude towards school and learning, set realistic goals, make new friends and so on.
      Brian (2013) proved the need for such a connection between different schools by examining the relationship between the achievements of the fifth-grade students and the school connections in the article, School Transitions and Students' Achievement in the Fifth Grade.
      Muiruri&Mondoh (2013) indicated that students in public schools have low grades and high volatility, but students in private schools and rural schools have better grades and the rate of connection is high in the book, Influence of School Uniqueness on Pupil Performance and Transition.
      In addition, Todd (2014:1-3) pointed out that a new partnership must be formed between secondary schools and higher education institutions. Only secondary schools and higher education institutions do have common understanding can education be more lively.
      The above is the research status of the education and teaching transition abroad. And we can find that most of the researches are aimed at the transition between different stage, lacking the research on the transition of specific subjects. In China, with the reform of curriculum reform, the problems of the education and teaching transition have also received more and more attention from domestic scholars.
      2.3.2Related Research at Home
      In China, the issue of education transition has been explored and studied by many great educators since ancient times. Although they didn't directly propose the theory of education transition, the education ideas that they advocated contain the idea of education transition. In ancient China, “the Records of Learning”, a special work of education and teaching, emphasized that teaching must follow a certain order (Zhan&Zhang,2017:180-185). Otherwise, students may study disorderly and can learn nothing. After that, Zhu Xi proposed that the teaching process must be step by step (Huang, 2017:21-25). These show that the education transition has attracted scholars' attention in ancient times. Lao Zi, a Chinese great philosopher and thinker during the Spring and Autumn Period, proposed that “the nine-story platform starts from the soil”, which means that sustaining accumulation conforms to the regular pattern of education development (Zhang, 2017). Higher education is based on fundamental education, and each education stage must prepare for the next stage.
      In modern times, many educationalists in China have gradually kept an eye on the education transition. Many experts in education and teachers have their own understanding of transition and take it into practice in their teaching process, which has greatly promoted the development of education transition theory. In the 1980s, professor Yu Li and Zhu Jiasheng (2003) noticed the issue of education transition from the learning process of students and began to research this issue. In his research, he emphasized that education is a systematic process. In the book he wrote, “The research on Several Issues of Education Transition”, he elaborates the concept of education transition and puts forward the corresponding practical guidance. He emphasizes how to help teachers and students to smoothly cross the transition period between the various sections from different aspects.
      Although domestic experts and scholars have conducted a lot of research on the transition between junior middle school and elementary school or between university and senior middle school from different aspects, there are also many teachers who have conducted some research on the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools. In 2017, the Ministry of Education issued the “Ordinary Senior Middle School English Curriculum Standards”, which distinguishes the characters, purposes, and requirements of English teaching in junior middle school and senior middle school, which provides a guarantee for the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools. Fu Xiaohong (2015,5:141) advocated the cultivation of positive emotional factors and promoted the effective transition of English teaching between junior middle school and senior middle school, which proves that emotional transition in teaching process is necessary. Li Fang (2012,1:79-80) suggested that teachers should conduct research on students, teaching materials and teaching methods to carry out teaching reform. Shi Wanxiang (2013:73-75) suggested that it is essential for teachers to strengthen students' foundation of English knowledge and provided some guidance of learning methods for them.
      The author also consulted some excellent master's thesis. Xue Min (2010), the postgraduate in Shandong Normal University, explored the factors influencing the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools. Zhang Yang (2014), the postgraduate in Huazhong Normal University, analyzed the connection of grammar between junior middle school and senior middle school. Zhang Guihua (2007), the postgraduate in Hunan Normal University, talked about how to implement English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools in rural areas and how to solve the problems of students' poor foundation and little interest in English learning by the way of linking. Zhang Li (2015), the postgraduate in Shandong Normal University, and Yuan Miao (2016), the postgraduate in Huazhong Normal University, analyzed the problems existing in the current English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools from the perspective of teachers and students. Liu Chengqi (2017), the postgraduate in Huazhong Normal University, focused on the available strategies during the period of English teaching transition. He pointed out that efficient teaching strategies concerning pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar have contribute to the cohesion of students' basic knowledge.
      These master's thesis elaborate the English teaching transition from different angles and the author have benefited a lot. But there is few researches on the English teaching transition which involves existing problems and the reasons during this period. And most of the education transition refer to the transition between primary school and junior middle school or the transition between vocational education and primary education.
      3.Theoretical Framework of the Research
      3.1Constructivism Learning Theory
      Constructivism, also called structuralism, is a learning theory that emphasizes the initiative of learners and believes that learning is a process which learners generally gain the meaning of knowledge and construct their understanding based on the original knowledge and experience. Piaget (1990:120) is an outstanding representative of constructivism and he defines the cognitive development process as two gradual processes: “assimilation” and “adaption”. He proposes that in the the cognitive development process, human will incorporate information of the external environment into their existing cognitive structure and form their own cognitive structure system, which is called “assimilation”. “Adaption” means that human will reorganize and transform the cognitive structure when they cannot assimilate information of the new environment into their existing cognitive systems if the external environment changes. Human continue to “assimilate” and “adapt” to the outside world, then forming their perception of the outside world.
      Constructivism thinks that the teaching process is a process that students' positively construct their cognition for new knowledge with the help of teachers, based on the existing knowledge and experience (Shen,2018,5:66-67). This process is also influenced by learners' motivation, emotion, social background and so on. But the core of constructivism is learning. The constructivism learning theory cares about the “initiative” of students in the learning process.
      Therefore, to ensure the effectiveness of teaching transition between junior middle school and senior middle school, teachers should understand the students' learning situation firstly. If they can't understand which knowledge that students already have learned, new knowledge that teachers send to students maybe not be mastered by them. Teachers should pay more attention to the transition in the teaching design and should carefully consider and find the exercises which can link the knowledge of junior middle school with the knowledge of senior middle school. For example, teachers can create new situations and guide students to learn new knowledge, using the knowledge that students have learned in junior middle school as background information (Wang,2018,12:144-145). According to the theory of constructivism, in the process of teaching, educators should focus more on the process of students' learning rather than the process of their own teaching. Under the guidance of teachers and the cooperation with other learners, students will continue to undergo the process of “assimilation” and “adaption” to build their own unique cognition structure.
      3.2Zone of Proximal Development
      “Zone of Proximal Development”, presented by Vygotsky, believes that students have two types of development levels (Yin, 2009:30-33). The first one is student's current level, which refers to the level that can be achieved by independent learning. The second one refers to the level that students may achieved with the help of teachers or other resources. The zone of proximal development refers to the gap between above two development levels. Teaching should concentrate on this gap and provide students with difficulty knowledge to mobilize their enthusiasm and enable them to stimulate their potential talents, which will be helpful for them to reach the next level of development. During this cycle, students' development levels have been improved continuously.
      Using the theory of “Zone of Proximal Development” in the transition between junior middle school and senior middle school, teachers should cultivate students' English learning ability, based on the actual level of students (Zeng, 2011:5-6). Teaches should use scientific and rational teaching methods to improve students' potential level of development to a higher level of development. Based on the existing new level of development, a higher level of development will emerge, resulting in a new zone of proximal development. By analogy, teaching is continuously transformed and constantly updated for a higher level of development in a spiral manner. In fact, knowledge is accumulated and students' learning ability are improved during this process. More importantly, “Zone of Proximal Development” is students-oriented, and fully considers the importance of teachers and peers in the process of knowledge construction. The subjectivity of learners is fully respected in the cognitive process.
      The “Zone of Proximal Development” tells us that the teachers should take students' existing knowledge level and the higher level that can be achieved through hard work into account in teaching process, which requires teachers to concentrate on education transition between different stages (Liu, 2010:3). Besides, the theory can provide strong theoretical support to transition research. The “Zone of Proximal Development” plays a very important part in English teaching.
      4.Research Methodology
      4.1Research Questions
      Based on the actual situation of teachers and students in grade one of senior middle school, this thesis conducts the research on the problems and reasons existing in the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools. During the research process, The problems encountered by students and teachers in the process of learning and teaching are focused. Besides, the thesis also includes analyzing the current situation of English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools, and actively finding the reasons of these problems. This thesis mainly concentrates on the following questions:
      1. What problems do exist in English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools?
      2. What are the reasons for these problems?
      4.2Research Subjects
      The research subjects of this thesis include 254 grade one students and 6 grade one English teachers of Xinzhou No.1 Middle School. Xinzhou No.1 Middle School is one of the first key middle schools in Shanxi Province and is also the first key middle school in Xinzhou. The school is well-known with hundred years of history. The students who are enrolled mostly are with high grades in the Xinfu district and other counties. However, there are some students in the school who does not reach the score line. There are 12 classes in grade one, involving 600 students. There are 6 English teachers in grade one, including 1 novice teacher, 3 experienced middle-aged teachers and 2 senior teachers. The school classes are divided into two levels: one type of the classes is made up of students whose total scores are above 630 in the senior middle school entrance examination and another type of the classes is made up of students whose total scores are below 630 in the senior middle school entrance examination. Because students in the former class have better English foundation. The author randomly selected five classes of the latter in grade one to conduct the questionnaire to objectively reflect the English learning situation of the senior middle school students during the transition period. And the following is some educational background of English teachers and students in
      grade one.
      4.2.1Teachers' Basic Information
      There are some basic information of teachers as follows:
      Table 4-1 English Teachers' Basic Information
      Basic information Options The number of teachers
      Gender Male 1
      Female 5
      25-35 years old 1
      Age 35-45 years old 3
      45-55 years old 2
      1-5 years 1
      Teaching ages 6-15 years 3
      16years or more 2
      Junior college education 0
      Maximum educational Undergraduate 5
      level Postgraduate 1
      High-level 2
      Positional Title Middle school level 3
      Middle school second-level 1
       
      There are 6 English teachers in grade one. It can be seen from Table 4-1 that there is only one male English teacher in grade one of this senior middle school, while there are 5 female English teachers.
      In terms of age and teaching ages, it can be seen from the table that teachers' age is consistent with their teaching ages. There are one teacher whose teaching ages are from 1 to 5 years. And the number of teachers whose teaching ages are from 6 to 15 years are three and the remaining two of English teachers whose teaching ages are above 16 years. The novice English teachers (teaching ages from 1-5) are not familiar enough with curriculum standard and the English textbooks and only focus on the current teaching contents. They can not systematically explain and organize knowledge, which will affect the continuous learning of knowledge. Middle-aged experienced English teachers (teaching ages from 6-15) have rich teaching experience and have their own ideas for English teaching transition, but they can not applied them to practical teaching due to the pressure of teaching and their traditional teaching ideas. There is only one middle-aged teacher who taught in junior middle school for 5 year. However, through teaching practice, it can be seen that teachers with rich teaching experience take notice of cultivating students' English proficiency and their English thinking. As a result, students' progress in English scores are more prominent.
      As for the academic level, five teachers are undergraduates, and one teacher am an postgraduate. The teaching practice shows that the difference in the overall level of teachers with different academic qualifications is not significant, but the only difference is their scientific research capabilities.
      As far as the professional titles are concerned, four teachers have intermediate titles, and only two teachers have senior titles. The difference in the overall level of work ability of teachers with different professional titles are obvious. Teachers with senior titles do better in management, teaching and scientific research than those with intermediate titles. Yang Shuping (2018:25-27) found out that there are significant differences in abilities of teachers with different titles. The teachers with higher professional title can deeply understand the needs of the students and grasp the importance of the knowledge and its system, which can make their teaching is more targeted, and students' English ability can be improved more effectively.
      As can be seen from Table 4-1, because teachers have different personalities, teaching ages, academic qualifications, and professional titles, there are differences in the way of imparting academic knowledge and in their teaching methods, which may will have an influence on students' performance in learning English, and their improvement of English learning ability may will be affected.
      4.2.2Students' Basic Information
       
       
      As shown in figure 4-1, the number of female students participating in this research is more than that of male students. The number of female students whose entrance examination 17
      grades below 90 is fewer than the number of male students, while there are more female students whose grades are in the range of 90-120 or over 120 than the male students. It can be seen that female students do better in English exam than that of boys, because there are more female students whose grades are above 120, which reflects the female students' advantages in learning English.
      The figure shows that average students are the majority in grade one of the senior middle school. Therefore, it can be seen that the students' English foundation is general and their fundamental English knowledge of junior middle school is weak. After entering high school, if students directly study English knowledge of senior middle school, they may fear of difficulties in learning English and lack of confidence for learning English. Therefore, at the beginning of senior middle school, it is necessary to review and consolidate English fundamental knowledge of junior middle school. Teachers should conduct English teaching transition in their class to cultivate students' interest and enthusiasm in learning English, and to improve their English learning ability at last.
      4.3Research Instruments
      Questionnaire is taken as the main research instrument, and interview is also used in the thesis to collect more objective and real data, which can provide a reliable basis for the further development of this thesis.
      4.3.1Questionnaire
      Questionnaire, also known as the “written survey method”, is the most commonly used instrument to collect data in educational research. It refers to a means of collecting research materials in written form. It can indirectly obtains materials and information by sending a concise questionnaire to ask for comments and suggestions on the issues. According to the principle of questionnaire design, the author has compiled two questionnaires about student and teachers taking English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools as the subject to get a preliminary understanding of the learning methods and learning habits of senior middle school students in grade one and the actual situation about English teaching transition, which refers to Yuan Miao's study on the current situation of ETT from junior high school to senior high school. The questionnaire is made up of 20 items in 5 dimensions, including the cognition for English learning during the ETT, the English textbook, the extracurricular resources of English learning, teaching and learning in class and English learning environment. As the basis of this research, it can pave the way for the discovery of the problems and related solutions about English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools, and also point out the direction for further research.
      4.3.2Interview
      Interview is one of traditional instruments of data collection and is also one of the most important and commonly used research instruments in educational research. It refers to an educational research instrument that collects factual materials through direct dialogue between researcher and respondents. The author designed two different interview questionnaires according to the design principles of the interview questionnaire. One of the interview questions is for senior middle school students of grade one to understand their psychological state, learning situation and their views about teachers during the transition period. The questions are as follows. Question 1. Can you adapt to the current senior middle school English learning? What do you think is the biggest difference of English learning in the senior middle school and the junior middle school? Question 2. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to learn English in senior middle school? Question 3. What advice would you have for the senior middle school English teachers? Another one is for English teachers to understand what teachers has done and will do during the transition period through face-to-face conversations. The questions are as follows. Question 1. Do you know the differences of English syllabus between junior middle school and senior middle school? Question 2. In the teaching process, have you ever focus on the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools? In which aspects did you focus on during the period? Question 3. What do you think is the biggest obstacle for senior middle school students of grade one to learn English well? Due to the particularity of this instrument, the author can find out the deep information of the respondents' opinions about English teaching transition in a relaxing and natural atmosphere.
      4.4Research Procedures
      On September 6, 2018, the author distributed questionnaires of the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools in five classes of grade one of Xinzhou No.1 Middle School, Shanxi Province. In the process of doing research, the school authorities also gave a great support. Before distributing the questionnaires, the author introduced something briefly that should be noticed. And they all known that the results are only used for the author's research. Then the teachers in the research class took out the self-study class to hand out questionnaires, finishing it within ten minutes and repeatedly stressed taking it seriously. During the process of filling the questionnaire, the author continued to patrol and supervise the students to make sure them complete the questionnaire carefully. During the process of teachers' questionnaire survey, all the English teachers of grade one take it seriously. The author finished the research of teachers' questionnaire in the inter-class exercise in the English group office to ensure the accuracy of the research. The author supervised throughout the process to guarantee that the process is very rigorous.
      To ensure that students and teachers express their views accurately, the author conducted the interview in Chinese. And the author tried to do it in a relaxed atmosphere, which is good for them to express their true thoughts.
      4.5Data Collection
      On September 6, 2018, the author distributed the questionnaire in the Xinzhou No.1 Middle School, Shanxi Province, and completed the data collection of the questionnaire. The author distributed 254 questionnaires to senior middle school students of grade one, but there were 248 valid questionnaires, which means the questionnaire recovery rate was 97.6%. Correspondingly, at the same time, the author handed out 6 questionnaires to the English teachers of grade one, and there were 6 valid questionnaires, which means the questionnaire recovery rate was 100.0%. More importantly, the questionnaires were taken back immediately after completion. Then the author counted the results of the questionnaire and put the valid data into SPSS17.0 to analyze the problems existing in ETS between JMS and SMS and the reasons of these problems from three aspects: teachers, students and teaching materials.
      5.Results and Discussion
      5.1Analysis of the Questionnaire
      5.1.1Analysis of the Cognition for English Learning during the ETT
      Having a right cognition towards English learning is the guarantee of success in learning English in senior middle school. Having learned English for three years in junior middle school, most of students already have their own cognition of English learning, either positive or negative. A student with positive cognition towards English learning understands the meaning and the importance of English, and has the will to achieve the established learning goals. There is connection between their cognition in learning English and their academic performance. Therefore, during the ETT, the author believes that it is necessary that teachers should observe and guide students' cognition towards English learning. The following is some analysis about students' and teachers' cognition for English learning in junior middle school and senior middle school.
      (1) Students' opinions
       
      As it can be seen from figure 5-1, there are 43.7% of students think that learning English in junior middle school is difficult, while 73.4% of students think that learning English in senior middle school is difficult. It shows that the difficulty of learning English in
      senior middle school is high. As a result, some students may have a sense of tiredness in learning English, which may influence their study. The constructivism learning theory emphasizes that the teaching process is a process that students positively construct their cognition for new knowledge with the help of teachers, based on the existing knowledge and experience. So English teachers should help them overcome the sense of tiredness by using various methods and build their confidence in learning English well at the beginning of senior high school. Besides, students should keep a sense of confidence and try their best to learn English.
      Table 5-1 Students' Cognition for ETT between JMS and SMS
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 42 16.9 16.9 16.9
      Almost agree 56 22.6 22.6 39.5
      No idea 74 29.8 29.8 69.3
      Valid Almost disagree 76 30.7 30.7 100
      Totally disagree 0 0 0 100
      Total 248 100 100
      Note:SQ3:In my opinion, the English teachers of grade one in SMS pay much attention to the ETT between JMS and SMS?
       
      As it can be seen from table 5-1, 29.8% of students have no idea about this question, which means they may not experience the teaching transition in class. And 30.7% of students believe that grade one English teachers of senior middle school concentrate less on the ETT between JMS and SMS and teach less related contents in practice. Therefore, grade one English teachers should concentrate on the transition of English knowledge between JMS and SMS when preparing lessons in order to let students feel the systematic of knowledge.
      (2) Teachers' opinions
      It can be seen from figure 5-2 that one of six teachers in senior middle school have no idea about this question and three of teachers are unfamiliar with English curriculum and teaching syllabus of junior middle school, which directly leads to the disconnection of English teaching between junior middle school and senior middle school. 50.0% of English teachers do not concentrate on the ETT between JMS and SMS, and the transition can't be carried out in practice. The main reason is that the school does not implement the “Teaching Cycle”, which means integrated teaching from junior middle school to senior middle school. So the senior middle school should make a unified arrangement and require the English teaching and 22
      research group to discuss the transition contents and to set a schedule about it. English teachers in grade one should spend time being familiar with important language points of junior middle school and make specific teaching plan.
       
      Figure 5-2 Teachers' Cognition for ETT between JMS and SMS Note:5=Totally agree, 4=Almost agree, 3=No idea, 2=Almost disagree, 1=Totally disagree 5.1.2 Analysis of the English Textbook
       
      About the information of the English textbook (Book one, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2006) in the SQ and TQ, this part will analyze the characteristics of the textbook of senior middle school from the view of teachers and students. Textbooks are the main reference material of teachers and students. In the teaching process, textbook occupies a very important position in teaching and learning, which is an important bond between teachers and students, and so is the English teaching transition. Because the textbook is the main part of the teaching materials, the author specifically lists it for analyzing. And the following is the analysis about the English textbook from different perspectives.
      (1) Students' opinions
      Table 5-2 Students' Data of Texts in English Textbook of SMS
      Question Totally agree(%) Almost agree(%) No idea(%) Almost disagree(%) Totally disagree(%)
      SQ15 0.8 4.8 22.7 41.9 29.7
      SQ16 6.9 23.4 9.7 47.6 12.5
      SQ17 12.1 46.8 8.9 19.8 12.4
      SQ18 3.2 20.2 9.7 33.9 33.1
      SQ19 26.6 47.6 11.3 10.5 4.0
      Note: This English textbook (Book One) belongs to Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (2006)
      As it can be seen from table 5-2, the research on the length (about 350 words per texts) of reading materials, 71.6% of students in SMS think that it has over their reading level and 60.1% of students are not interested in the topics of the texts (Book One), which shows that the texts in senior middle school are more difficult and the topics of the texts can not attract the interest of most students. Einstein said that interest is the best teacher, which illustrates the importance of interest. As a good teacher, he should stimulate students' interest in leaning to make them learn happily. The author believes that grade one students of senior middle school can improve their interest in texts by understanding the background knowledge of the texts in advance or actively participating in group discussions and so on.
      As for the number of new words in the texts (Book One), the research shows that 58.9% of senior middle school students thought that there are a large number of new words in the text, and 67% of the students think that it is difficulty to memorize them after class. This shows that from the perspective of students, they are more adaptable for the number of new words in the texts of junior middle school. So it is may difficulty for some students to remember the new words of senior middle school. But if teachers can conduct English teaching transition about how to learn and remember new words, students may will learn and remember new words more easily.
      As for the number of compound and complex sentences in the texts (Book One), it can be seen from the table that 74.2% of students think that there are too many compound and complex sentences in the texts of senior middle school, which may become a kind of obstacle for them to understand the texts. In the process of English learning, students should preview these sentences before class, and listening them carefully in class.
       
      18.5%
       
      Figure 5-3 Students' Data of Grammar Items in English Textbook of SMS
      Note:5=Totally agree, 4=Almost agree, 3=No idea, 2=Almost disagree, 1=Totally disagree
      SQ20:At present, the grammar items in FLTRP English textbook (Book one) are quite different.
      As it can be seen from figure 5-3, 57.2% of grade one students of senior middle school think that senior middle school grammar items are more complex, indicating that the grammatical difficulty of senior middle school may not in line with the actual level of students. Most of the grade one students think it is hard to learn English grammar items well in class. Thus, they should come to ask their teachers for advice on English grammar learning and spend more time learning grammar.
      (2) Teachers' opinions
      Table 5-3 Teachers' Data of Texts in English Textbook of SMS
      Question Totally agree(%) Almost agree(%) No idea(%) Almost disagree(%) Totally disagree(%)
      TQ13 - 16.7 - 83.3 -
      TQ14 - 16.7 - 66.7 16.7
      TQ15 16.7 16.7 - 66.7 -
      TQ16 - 16.7 - 83.3 -
      TQ17 - 16.7 - 83.3 -
       
      In the research about the length (about 350 words per text) of English texts (Book One), 83.3% of the senior middle school teachers believe that the length is reasonable. And the research about whether the text topics can arouse students' interest, 83.4% of senior middle school English teachers believe that the current text topics may not arouse most students' interest.
      As for the new words in the text, 66.7% of the English teachers think that the number of new words is reasonable, but 83.3% of the English teachers indicate that students may not remember the new words in time which appeared in class. It can be seen from the research that the number of new words in senior middle school are reasonable, but students need to spend more time remembering new words after class under teachers supervising and inspecting.
      Judging from the difficulty of sentences in the English textbook, 83.3% of senior middle school English teachers do not think that they are difficult. In junior middle school, most of sentences in the texts are simple sentences, while there are more compound and complex sentences in the texts of senior middle school. But these sentences in the texts of senior middle school needs spending more time analyzing and remembering. At this time, English teachers guidance and explaining is essential for students to master the right steps and methods to analyze compound sentences. For example, the English teachers can analyze and
      explain compound sentences first in class, then ask students to analyze similar sentences.
      Table 5-4 Teachers' Data of Grammar Items in English Textbook of SMS
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 0 0 0 0
      Almost agree 1 16.7 16.7 16.7
      No idea 0 0 0 16.7
      Valid Almost disagree 4 66.6 66.6 83.3
      Totally disagree 1 16.7 16.7 100
      Total 6 100 100
      Note:TQ18:At present, the grammar items in FLTRP English textbook (Book one) are quite different.
       
      As it can be seen from table 5-4, 83.4% of English teachers believe that senior middle school grammar items is not difficult and only 16.7% of English teachers think that the grammar items is difficult. Although the grammar difficulty of senior middle school increases, compared with that of junior middle school, the overall difficulty is moderate. However, students have different opinions about this question. Inevitably, there are some problems arising in the aspect of grammar items during the transition period.
       
       
      Figure 5-4 Teachers' Data of Exercises in English Textbook of SMS Note:5=Totally agree, 4=Almost agree, 3=No idea, 2=Almost disagree, 1=Totally disagree
      As shown in figure 5-4, 4 senior middle school teachers believe that the number of the exercises in English textbooks is reasonable and conform to the students' actual English level. However, only 2 teachers believe that the difficulty of the exercises in senior middle school increases, but it dose not exceed students' understanding level in grade one. As a result, it may 26
      not cause problems for students' English learning in grade one of SMS.
      From above analysis, it can be seen that there is a gap between the knowledge of senior middle school and that of junior middle school, which is a good choice for teachers to concentrate on this gap and provide students difficulty knowledge to mobilize their enthusiasm and enable them to stimulate their potential talents. But teachers should take actual level of students into consideration and the subjective of students should be fully respected in this process as the Zone of Proximal Development mentions. And more importantly, students will construct their cognition for new knowledge based on the existing knowledge and experience in this process, which is influenced by their motivation, emotion and so on. So the teachers should offer help by using scientific teaching methods and sincerely psychological care. For example, English teachers can conduct situation teaching, which includes words or sentences that they have learned in junior middle school.
      5.1.3Analysis of the Extracurricular Resources of English Learning
      The diversity of extracurricular resources will help students broaden their horizon and increase their understanding of the English cultural background. It includes the Internet information, English newspapers, magazines and so on. More importantly, it can increase students' interest in learning English and may have an influence on their future performance. Here is the analysis about students' and teachers' opinions about English extracurricular resources.
      (1) Students' opinions
      Table 5-5 Students' Data of Extracurricular Resources
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 10 4.0 4.0 4.0
      Almost agree 20 8.1 8.1 12.1
      No idea 42 16.9 16.9 29.0
      Valid Almost disagree 92 37.1 37.1 66.1
      Totally disagree 84 33.9 33.9 100
      Total 248 100 100
      Note:SQ8:In addition to the materials provided by the school, I often use other teaching resources to learn English.
       
      According to table 5-5, only 12.1% of senior middle school students often read
      extracurricular English materials, while 71% of senior middle school students have limited extracurricular materials and do not read them frequently. By asking students, they often read English Weekly which is ordered unified by school. Through the research on extracurricular materials, it can be seen that the extracurricular materials of senior middle school can not meet the needs of students. But it is known to that interest and learning motivation are important internal power that directly promotes students' learning. Although the time of learning senior middle school curriculum is very tight, teachers should add more extracurricular materials in which students are interested, which not only can increase students' interest in learning English but also can motivate them to learns English knowledge.
      (2) Teachers' opinions
       
      Figure 5-5 Teachers' Data of Extracurricular Resources
      Note:5=Totally agree, 4=Almost agree, 3=No idea, 2=Almost disagree, 1=Totally disagree
       
      Regarding to the supplement of extracurricular materials, the data shows that 5 senior middle school teachers who participated in the survey don't regularly supply extracurricular materials, but 4 teachers think that extracurricular materials is very helpful to students. Therefore, teachers should reasonably arrange the teaching contents and class time to provide the extracurricular materials for students as much as possible. And they should focus on the diversity of extracurricular materials to draw students' attention and broaden their horizon.
      5.1.4Analysis of in-Class English Teaching and Learning
      Teachers' teaching and students' learning are the most important factor that influence students' performance and grades in English exams. During this period, students' will and motivation on English learning are of vital importance. In this part, understanding the 28
      classroom situation from the perspective of students and teachers can make the investigation of the transition of English teaching between JMS and SMS more convincing. Here is the analysis about teaching and learning in class.
      (1) Students' opinions
      Table 5-6 Students' Data in Class
      Question Totally agree(%) Almost agree(%) No idea(%) Almost disagree(%) Totally disagree(%)
      SQ5 24.2 51.6 18.5 4.0 1.6
      SQ6 9.7 17.7 16.1 37.1 19.4
       
      As shown in table 5-6, 75.6% of senior middle school students believe that English teachers pay much attention to grammar items and sentence patterns in class, and 56.5% of senior middle school students think that the time for taking notes in class is relatively tight. During the research period, the author participated in many English lessons and found that many students didn't know how to take notes effectively. When the teacher started to explain the next point of English knowledge, they were still busy taking notes of last knowledge point, which made them miss some important knowledge points. In this case, the quality of listening in class greatly decreases. Now the non-intellectual factors, mainly includes will and motivation on learning English, plays a very important role in overcoming these problem. Students should actively ask teachers and classmates how to take notes and learn to focus on important points trying to avoid conflicts between lectures and note-taking. And the following is something about their performance in English class.
       
       
      Figure 5-6 Students' Data about their Performance in Class
      Note:5=Totally agree, 4=Almost agree, 3=No idea, 2=Almost disagree, 1=Totally disagree SQ7: I listen attentively in English class and never lose my mind.
      In the research about their performance in English classes, 83.1% of senior middle school students think that they listen carefully in class and occasionally are distracted, while 8% of senior middle school students think that they often are distracted and their learning achievements are not optimistic. This shows that some students dose not adapt to senior middle school classes and teachers, teaching materials and the changes in their surrounding learning environment, which affects the performance of students in English class. They should adapt to the new environment as soon as possible and keep positive and optimistic. They also should believe that they can do better in the English class, which needs help of teachers to build their confidence and give them necessary help to pass this gap smoothly. And the following is something about the situation of the preview for English.
      Table 5-7 Students' Data of the Preview
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 26 10.5 10.5 10.5
      Almost agree 60 24.2 24.2 34.7
      No idea 0 0 0 34.7
      Valid Almost disagree 108 43.5 43.5 78.2
      Totally disagree 54 21.8 21.8 100
      Total 248 100 100
      Note:SQ4: At present, I always preview the English contents before class.
       
      It can be seen from table 5-7 that 43.5% of students don't often preview the English contents that will be learned next day by themselves, and 21.8% of the students never preview English contents, which indicates that the students' preparation for studying English is not sufficient, which may make them not understand knowledge in class and affects their performance in English class and their English grades. Teachers should focus on the guidance of the preview methods and the management of the preview.
      (2) Teachers' opinions
      According to the table, about 83.3% of the senior middle school teachers think that the time for taking notes is relatively tight. After entering senior middle school, teachers generally organize their teaching in English, and the contents capacity of the class also increases a lot. Students need to study harder and pay more attention to learn English in class, which leads to the time of taking notes in the class tight. As a result, the grade one students feel uncomfortable and even can't adapt to the English class. The constructivism learning theory
       
      Table 5-8 Teachers' Data in Class
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 0 0 0 0
      Almost agree 1 16.7 16.7 16.7
      No idea 0 0 0 0
      Valid Almost disagree 4 66.6 66.6 83.3
      Totally disagree 1 16.7 16.7 100
      Total 6 100 100
      Note:TQ5: In English class, I give students plenty of time to take notes.
      mentioned that teachers should offer help when students construct their cognition for new knowledge. Thus, the teachers should give students some guidance on learning methods, and also concentrate on the quantity of knowledge transition between JMS and SMS, which can't exceed the level of students' acceptance. And there are some concrete details in class as follows.
       
       
      In terms of new words explanation, only 1 grade one English teacher of senior middle school explain new words detailed, and 5 English teachers do not explain them. From the statistics, it can be seen that most of the senior middle school teachers do not take too much time to explain new words. Combined with the author's teaching experience, the author finds that the students of grade one who are not good at learning English can't adapt to the teacher's teaching rhythm. This may has influence on something as follows. On the one hand, students
      can't adapt to the new learning environment. On the other hand, the lack of understanding of the new word leads to students lack of confidence and interest in the study of the following sentence patterns and grammar items. As the zone of proximal development stressed that teachers should cultivate students' learning ability, based on the actual level of students. To help students lay a good foundation of English in the first year of senior middle school, teachers should increase the time to explain new words and strengthen guidance after class.
      As for the research about the importance of grammar items and sentence explanation, 4 senior middle school English teachers concentrate on grammar items and sentence patterns. It is not difficult to see that teachers attach great importance to the explanation of such knowledge because the difficulty of grammar items and sentence patterns increases. When students just enter senior middle school, teachers should allocate the time reasonably for the new words explanation and teach them methods of remembering new words. Besides, English teachers should combine the explanations of grammar items and sentences with related exercises to enhance their understanding for the knowledge.
      Table 5-9 Teachers' Data about Interaction between T and S
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 1 16.7 16.7 16.7
      Almost agree 4 66.6 66.6 83.3
      No idea 0 0 0 83.3
      Valid Almost disagree 1 16.7 16.7 100
      Totally disagree 0 0 0 100
      Total 6 100 100
      Note:TQ6: I often interact with students in class.
      According to table 5-9, the survey data shows that 83.3% of grade one English teachers of senior middle school often have interaction with students, and 16.7% of English teachers occasionally have interaction with students. The data shows that most of senior middle school English teachers attach great importance to the interaction with students. Combined with the author's observation, the author found that the class with teachers who often interact with students in class are more active, and students are more motivated to learn. Otherwise, students in class are much more dull, and the classroom's atmosphere is congested. Besides, students do not learn English with great enthusiasm. As is known to all, interest and learning motivation have a great influence on students' leaning career so that the author believes that teachers should strengthen their interaction with students through questions and answers, 32
      games and so on, which will not only promote the understanding between students and teachers, but also mobilize the classroom atmosphere and increase students' interest in learning English.
      Table 5-10 Teachers' Data about Learning Guidance
      Frequency Percentage Valid
      Percentage Cumulative
      Percentage
      Totally agree 1 16.7 16.7 16.7
      Almost agree 4 66.6 66.6 83.3
      No idea 0 0 0 83.3
      Valid Almost disagree 1 16.7 16.7 100
      Totally disagree 0 0 0 100
      Total 6 100 100
      Note: TQ7: I often give guidance to students on the methods of English learning.
       
      Regarding the guidance about English learning methods, 83.3% of senior middle school teachers often teach students how to learn English. But 16.7% of teachers only occasionally instruct students the methods of learning. Students who just enter the senior middle school, can't adapt to the class in many aspects. The zone of proximal development believes that students have two types development levels and the latter one may be achieved with the help of teachers. So in the first year of senior middle school, the senior middle school teachers should draw attention to the guidance of the learning methods to improve students' potential level of development to a higher level of development. As is known to all, in the senior middle school, composition output becomes an important method for students to consolidate knowledge. But the teachers in junior middle school did not emphasis on writing, as a result students lacked the relevant skills of writing. At this time, it is necessary to instruct students in the writing methods and do more writing exercises about relevant topics. Besides, teachers should strengthen communication with students after class to give them more care, which is good for students to stay in good emotional state.
      5.1.5Analysis of English Learning Environment
      English learning environment includes everything that have influence on English learning, for example other subjects in senior middle school, learning requirements and so on. Besides, learning environment may affect students' emotion, will and learning motivation, which will have an influence on students' performance and their grades. And the following is the analysis of the learning environment.
      (1) Students' opinions
      Table 5-11 Students' Data about English Learning Environment
      Question Totally agree(%) Almost agree(%) No idea(%) Almost disagree(%) Totally disagree(%)
      SQ9 4.0 46.8 26.6 16.9 5.6
      SQ10 5.6 23.4 37.9 25.8 7.3
      SQ11 6.5 70.2 17.7 5.6 -
      SQ12 4.8 39.5 46.0 9.7 -
      SQ13 7.3 14.5 30.6 40.3 7.3
      SQ14 13.7 52.4 20.2 10.5 3.2
       
      Firstly, the statistic shows that 46.8% of senior middle school students have chosen that they can complete most of the English learning tasks, and only 4% of senior middle school students have chosen to they can complete all English learning tasks. By analyzing data, it can be seen that students in senior middle school can finish majority of English tasks. To stimulate the potential of students in learning English, teachers can assign challenging homework.
      Secondly, as to the interaction between teachers and students, the data in the table shows that 71% of senior middle school students have a little interaction with teachers or never interaction with teachers. This shows that there is little interaction between students and teachers. Students just entering senior middle school should answer questions actively in class and find more opportunities to communicate with teachers to let teachers understand their ideas, which can help teachers better carry out the teaching.
      Thirdly, as for whether students in grade one adapt to senior middle school life or not, 70.2% of the students can adapt to it, but about one-fifth of the students have difficulty in adapting to it. The next question, about the overall feeling of grade one students of senior middle school since the beginning of the school, it can be seen from table 5-18 that 44.3% of senior middle school students are energetic, but 55.7% of students feel a bit of tiredness. It can be seen from the data that some of students are fatigued when they just have entered senior middle school. Teachers should concentrate on this phenomenon and appropriately reduce the burden on students to ensure that students are energetic at school so that they can better adapt to English learning in senior middle school. At the same time, students should establish firm will to overcome all difficulties and achieve their dreams.
      Fourthly, in the research about the mutual effect between other subjects and English, 78.2% of senior middle school students believe that the mutual effect is little. It can be seen that other subjects learning have little effect on English learning and don't have much impact on students' English learning, which shows that there is not much problem between different senior middle school subjects. However, it is still necessary to make continuous efforts to balance the learning time between different subjects.
      Finally, as for the research about the degree of self-study requirements, 66.1% of senior middle school students think that it is relatively higher than that of junior middle school. In the experiment, the author found that some students who just entered senior middle school don't know how to learn, especially when they study by themselves after class. Students do not develop the habit of self-study or preview, as a result they waste valuable time for self-study. Grade one students of senior middle school should cultivate self-study awareness at first, which means that they should form correct learning motivation and have strong will, and then through communicating with teachers, they can form self-study methods that suit their actual situation.
      (2) Teachers' opinions
      Table 5-12 Teachers' Data about English Learning Environment
      Question Totally agree(%) Almost agree(%) No idea(%) Almost
      disagree(%) Totally disagree(%)
      TQ10 16.7 66.7 - 16.7 -
      TQ11 - 16.7 - 66.7 16.7
      TQ12 16.7 16.7 - 66.7 -
       
      First, as for the self-study requirements, 83.4% of senior middle school teachers believe that requirements for self-study are high. Teachers should supervise and inspect students during the period of self-study after class and give them necessary guidance and assistance to help students through the transition stage, which is in line with the requirements of constructivism and the zone of proximal development.
      Second, as to the teacher's humanistic care, from the data, it is not difficult to see that 83.4% of senior middle school teachers can't often care for every students. This shows that senior middle school English teachers do not always care about students' physical and mental development. Most of teachers did not give enough concerns to the majority of students. Students who have just entered the senior middle school may not adapt to the senior middle school life or the study. They may feel anxiety. However, there is a close relation between emotion and learning state. Good emotional state is beneficial for students' learning. Conversely, negative emotions will greatly reduce students' learning effectiveness. In order to solve emotional problems, the teacher should often communicate with students or watch carefully in class to understand their physical and mental development, which is good for students to dispel their initial discomfort, and ensure that students are actively engaged in learning.
      Third, judging from the impact of other courses on English, it can be seen from the table that 66.7% of senior middle school teachers believe that the impact is relatively little, but they should teach students how to allocate the time reasonably and ensure the balanced development of all courses.
      5.2 Analysis of the Interview
      5.2.1Interview with Students of Grade One
      The author randomly selected 21 students from three different levels according to their EE English scores: above120, 90-120, and below 90, who also previously finished the questionnaire. The interview contents and results are as follows:
      Question 1. Can you adapt to the current senior middle school English learning? What do you think is the biggest difference of English learning in the senior middle school and the junior middle school?
      For this question, seven students whose English grades are above 120, said that they can adapt to current English learning. In particular, they have already learned some courses by themselves during the summer holiday and they have shown great interest and confidence in learning English. However, another 14 students whose grades are below 120 said that they could not adapt to it. After further interview, the author learned that English teachers generally organize the class in Chinese in junior middle school, while in senior middle school teachers often organize the class in English. Even if English teachers of junior middle school spoke English in class, which was very simple, and they repeated the same knowledge points in the whole class so that they generally have mastered the knowledge they have learned in class. However, after entering senior middle school, they found that the teachers often speak in English in class, which are usually compound sentences. Besides, the contents of one English class is fairly much. Additionally, there are much homework of other subjects, as a result they don't have enough time to review the English knowledge which they have learned that day. Sometimes they even can't finish their English homework. If the malignant circle continuous, it would make students lose their interest in English and feel that senior middle school English learning is too difficult.
      Question 2. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to learn English in senior middle school?
      All of the 21 students said new words and grammar items. They think that there are more new words in the texts and the texts are more difficult to understand in senior middle school than that of junior middle school. In junior middle school, English texts often lay out in the form of dialogue with concise contents and clear themes while in senior middle school texts are in the form of paragraph. Because there are too many new words and the sentences in the texts is too complex, they can't grasp the main idea of the text and understand the key knowledge points of the text. They mentioned that the English textbook (Book One) of foreign language teaching and research press includes a text “My First Day at Senior High” in Module1 and they can't understand many details after reading this text. In addition, grammar items are also a common problem that students are very troubled with. 14 of the 21 students mentioned that the senior middle school English teachers taught in the way which is different from the English teacher in junior middle school, but they prefer to take what they have learned in junior middle school as the standard. In addition to vocabulary and grammar items, speaking and listening are also obstacles in their senior middle school English learning. All 21 students mentioned that they understand that English is a language subject and needs to be spoken loudly, but they are not good at speaking English so they are embarrassed to say it. Those are the reason why they don't like to read English loudly during the morning self-study class. In class, even if they knew the answer, they aren't brave enough to answer them because they are afraid of being laughed by their classmates for their own bad pronunciation.
      Question 3. What advice would you have for the senior middle school English teachers?
      Their advice is roughly divided into three aspects. First, they hope that the relationship between English teachers and them should be like mentors. They hope that teachers is not only a “good teacher” who impart knowledge and solve problems, but also a “friend” who can share their happiness and unhappiness. All 21 students mentioned that they prefer teachers who can mingle with students to teachers who are too serious. Second, 21 students, especially 7 students whose grades are below 90, said that they hope that teachers can treat each student fairly and do not judge their performance in English by their grades. They thought that teachers should teach students based on their actual learning situation. In particular, teachers should care about students with low grades and make them keep confidence. Third, they also mentioned that compared with English classes in junior middle school, English classes in senior middle school is relatively boring, hoping to increase classroom activities to make the classroom more active. They hope that the teacher will talk more about British and American culture and other aspects, using songs, movies and so on. At the same time, students also mentioned that they do not like single class discussion or presentation. And all 21 students hope that teachers will organize various English activities after class, such as English corner, English speech contest and so on.
      These suggestions are valuable. Form the interview, the author knows that although some activities were organized in the classroom to encourage students to learn English with happiness, such as sharing and exchanging beautiful articles, these activities allowed them to passively accept in the classroom. However, students want to participate in English speech contest or debates and other activities, which indicates that their learning initiatives has been increased. The author decided to arrange these activities recommended by the students in the future English teaching, so that the students can show their talent. As for the suggestion of stratified teaching, the author think that it is difficult to implement in practice. Because every class consists of many students, about 50, and the classroom teaching time is limited so there is not enough time in the classroom to implement stratified teaching. However, after class, the English teachers should conduct different levels of instruction for students based on the observation for the students in class and considering their grades and their educational background. Through the interviews with students, it is obvious that the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools is very necessary at the beginning of grade one in senior middle school. If English teachers can adopt appropriate English teaching strategies for grade one students of senior middle school, it may good for students' English learning, and build their confidence in learning English.
      5.2.2Interview with English Teachers of Grade One
      The author has an interview with 6 grade one English teachers of senior middle school, representing the old, the middle and the young. The following is the interview contents and results:
      Question 1. Do you know the differences of English syllabus between junior middle school and senior middle school?
      For this question, only one teacher who taught in junior middle school knows the differences between junior middle school and senior middle school. The other 5 teachers admit that they are not very familiar with syllabus of junior middle school. All 6 teachers mentioned that they usually don't focus on what has been taught in junior middle school. For example, Which vocabularies has been learned in junior middle school? Which grammar items have been taught in junior middle school? How do English teachers in junior middle school organize classroom activities? But all 6 teachers are not very clear about the answers of these questions.
      Question 2. In the teaching process, have you ever focus on the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools? In which aspects did you focus on during the period?
      For this question, all 6 teachers expressed their ideas that they all concern about it, but in the teaching process, the knowledge of junior middle school is taught little because of the requirements of the teaching progress. The young teacher said that at the beginning of the senior middle school, the phonetics were strengthened to correct the students' pronunciation. She also mentioned that the good and correct pronunciation is the premise for students to speak English loudly. Therefore, she suggested that English teachers should conduct unified phonetic teaching in the first year of senior middle school to lay a good foundation for students future learning in listening and speaking. The teacher who taught in junior middle school said that she makes additional guidance for the students who are poor in English from different aspects, including the nature of words, sentence composition, five basic sentence patterns and so on, to make them have a whole understanding about the sentence structure at the beginning of the senior middle school.
      Question 3. What do you think is the biggest obstacle for senior middle school students of grade one to learn English well?
      About this question, both of teachers' and students' answers are consistent in some aspects. They all mentioned new words and English spoken. They all thought that the English vocabularies are the foundation of English learning. Without the foundation, English learning cannot be done well. English spoken is a problem that senior middle school teachers often emphasize in class. The teachers all mentioned that students in the three years of junior middle school mainly spent their time on the English exercises and lack of oral practice. Thus, some students who have just entered senior middle school can't adapt to English class, especially those from rural areas who generally are poor in oral English and rarely say English in class.
      6.Conclusion
      This final part of the thesis includes the main findings, research inspiration, the limitations of this research, and suggestions for the future research.
      6.1 Major Findings
      English teaching is a systematic process in which English knowledge in senior middle school and junior middle school is coherent. There is a great “leap” both from the contents or the difficulty of knowledge, which makes many senior middle school students in grade one can not adapt to English class as soon as possible. Making great efforts to do well in English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools is closely related to students' English performance and their grades. Besides, it is related to the improvement of teaching qualities. However, due to the fact that teachers in junior middle school and senior middle school are separated and some teachers in senior middle school do not concentrate on the English knowledge in junior middle school, the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools is not optimistic, which has restricted students' English learning. Therefore, the author took the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools as the topic of the thesis. Taking the grade one students and English teachers of the Xinzhou No.1 Middle School as research subjects and finishing the questionnaires and interviews, combined with a large number of relevant literature reviews, the author summarizes the problems existing in the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools and find the reasons of these problems. The author finally completed the writing of this thesis. After studying a lot of literature and doing related teaching practice research, the problems and reasons existing in the actual teaching activities are analyzed. The author mainly draw some points as follows:
      Firstly, it can't be neglected that lacking sufficient communication between English teachers in junior middle school and that of senior middle school has been a common problem during the transition period. Some English teachers in senior middle school are not familiar with syllabus of junior middle school and don't focus on the teaching modes of junior middle school English teachers. They maybe care about the completion of the teaching contents. All these directly led to the sudden changes in the teaching modes, teaching methods, and teaching contents after entering senior middle school, which made the students unable to adapt to the learning in senior middle school quickly. At the same time, whether teachers attach importance to the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools has an effect on the performance of students. Therefore, to pass the transition period between junior middle school school and senior middle school smoothly, English teachers in senior middle school should strengthen their communication with English teachers in junior middle school and learn the syllabus of junior middle school. And they should enter junior middle school' English classes, paying attention to the differences between them, and actively guide students to quickly adapt to senior middle school English learning.
      Secondly, teachers have the sense of transition, but it is less reflected in actual teaching; And they lack emotional communication with students, which aggravate their maladjustment to the senior middle school life and learning. As we know, non-intellectual factors have great effect on learning. If students are troubled by some emotions, they can't be absorbed in learning English. Therefore, English teachers should think about how to explain the transition contents when they are preparing lesson. More importantly, they should strengthen their understanding of students solve their problems in time.
      Thirdly, as a subject of learning, the attitude of students towards learning English may determines the effectiveness of learning. In the research, the author found that students are afraid of difficulty and are lazy in learning English. Besides, They don't concentrate on English learning, and some of them don't have proper learning methods and strategies, which led to many difficulties in English learning in the first year of senior middle school. Therefore, students must exert subjective initiative and actively face new difficulties arising in senior middle school. And the author want to emphasize the importance of teachers' emotion input to students. Teachers should learn to use emotion to infect students to make them study hard, so that students are more willing to put their energy into the research of English, forming a strong motivation.
      Finally, the English textbooks of the two stages have great differences in teaching contents (such as sentence structures, grammar items and so on), teaching activities and teaching objectives. And there are great differences in the teaching methods between junior middle school and senior middle school. The specific performance is that the English teaching in senior middle school class is mainly taught in English and the contents are complicated, which make it difficult for students to adapt to English learning in senior middle school when they just entered senior middle school.
      In short, the problems existing in the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools has been a major obstacle that hinders senior middle school English teaching. Teachers in senior middle school need to learn the syllabus in depth, strengthening theoretical study, specialize teaching materials, and deeply understand students. Students need to develop correct learning attitudes, scientific learning habits, and overcome tiredness. Schools' authorities must increase investment and focus on English teaching. Only by working together can we help students learn English well in senior middle school and promote the development of Chinese foreign language education.
      6.2Research Implications
      Based on the above research findings, this research can give some implications to senior middle school English teachers and students during the period of the English teaching transition. The author summarizes some solutions as follows:
      For teachers: firstly, English teachers should strengthen the sense of transition, attaching great importance to the transition in teaching methods, and imparting the English contents is should be step by step; secondly, they should strengthen communication with students and observe them carefully to find students' psychological problems in time and solve them. More importantly, teachers should help students establish self-confidence in learning English; especially for students whose English grades are not ideal. Once students are found to have psychological problems such as anxiety or being afraid of difficulty in English learning, teachers should talk with students actively to find problems existing at present English learning and help them solve these problems together. For students whose grades are above 120, teachers can hold English corners, speech contests and other activities to enrich their extracurricular life. At the weekend, teachers can also share some valuable English learning materials through the class QQ group to increase their interest in learning English. At the same time, students can feel the caring from teachers and enhance their emotional communication with teachers. Therefore, the author believes that strengthening the psychological transition is necessary. Teachers should teach students in accordance with their actual situation in learning English, trying to meet different students' learning needs. Thirdly, teachers should also use various teaching methods flexibly to stimulate students' interest in learning, and guide students to use scientific learning methods to cultivate them into long-term learning habits. Using teaching materials reasonably, teachers should give students enough time to adapt to the senior middle school English textbooks. Fourthly, teachers should appropriately adjust the capacity of the knowledge according to the situation of students. And they also should focus on the diversity of teaching methods and classroom activities to increase students' interest in English learning. Fifthly, enriching students' extracurricular materials is also necessary to broaden their horizon. Finally, teachers should concentrate on the use of diversified evaluation methods. Using the motivation of learning English helps students' pass the period of English teaching transition smoothly.
      For students, firstly, as the subject of learning, students should overcome the negative emotion, such as tiredness, inferiority, fear and so on. They strive to master the scientific learning methods, and develop good learning habits. Secondly, they strive to keep up with the teacher's teaching contents. According to the teacher's guidance, they should summarize the junior middle school' knowledge from the aspects of vocabulary, syntax, tense and so on, to consolidate previous English knowledge and clear the obstacles of language knowledge. Thirdly, students should gradually develop good habits of self-learning, for example, they should preview before class, and sort out notes after class. They also should increase the amount of extracurricular reading and cultivate a sense of independent thinking.
      6.3Limitations
      Because of the limitation of personal abilities and objective conditions, this thesis still has some shortcomings. First, the research samples of this thesis is restricted to some extent, which is limited to schools in Xinzhou, as a result the geographical restrictions are relatively strong. In addition, the research of this thesis focuses on senior middle school students and English teachers in grade one, and couldn't conduct the research on junior middle school graduates and their English teachers. Third; the data processing method is single and the analysis is not deep enough. Forth, due to the limited research time, it is impossible to conduct long-term research on the senior middle school students. Besides, as a senior middle school English teacher, the author still is lack of sufficient understanding for junior middle school English teaching. In the future research, the author will strive to learn from outstanding people to make up for the shortcomings in the thesis. The author also hope that teachers and experts will criticize and correct for this thesis. Definitely, the author will continue to conduct the research on the English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools.
      6.4Suggestions for the Further Research
      During the period of the research, there are some deficiencies as the follow shows. First of all, in order to increase the credibility of the data, it is necessary to expand the number and scope of the research subjects, sampling in different regions of China and different senior middle schools. Second, it is necessary to find out more comprehensive reasons for the lack of English teaching transition between junior middle schools and senior middle schools based on the research data to make the transition smoothly. Third, the research of English teaching in junior school and senior middle school is aimed at helping students to make a smooth transition in a short period from junior middle school to senior middle school. But English learning itself is an uninterrupted and enduring process. So that how to help students to turn their short-term enthusiasm for learning English into a long-term habits is a question which is worth pondering for every English educator after passing the transition period. Fourth, focusing on the research of individual differences among students is essential, such as the differences in English ability between male students and female students. The author believes that the subject of learning is students, and each student is an unique individual. In order to improve the effectiveness of English teaching, it is necessary to combine the actual situation of different regions, different schools and their students. Therefore, the research of English teaching transition research must be more targeted to make the English teaching be more effective.
      Finally, the ultimate goal of the English teaching transition research between junior middle school and senior middle school is to improve students' English proficiency and contribute to their lifelong development. However, the current evaluation system for English pays great attention to students' exam grades. Grades do not completely reflect the real learning situation of the students, or fully become their learning motivation. In the current English teaching, there is even a phenomenon of disjointed between teaching and examination, which seriously restricts the development of students and the progress of English teaching. Therefore, the reform of the English teaching evaluation system is a major driving force for promoting the research progress of English teaching transition.
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