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80 Vlog Entries: Edutainment Stimulus to Unleash Student’s Potential to Speak English Norfarizan Mohamad 1 , Suraini Mohd Ali 2 , Fariza Puteh Behak 3 Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Malaysia Abstract Vlog is a portmanteau of the word ‘video’ and ‘blog’. Nowadays, vlogging is perceived as a new and popular trend in blogging circle and differs from its parent, textual blogging, by offering audio-visual capabilities to communicate. Vlog’s various functionality serves the purpose of becoming an ideal 21 st century learning tool for teaching English speaking skills. Therefore, this research is conducted to find out the challenges encountered by students during the discussion of weekly Vlog entries for their English lesson. A qualitative research method was used in this research. All the vlog entries; which include self-preparation and self- reflection notes for the 3 theme units (following the Malaysian syllabus of Form 3 English Close-Up textbook) were interpreted descriptively by using an Atlas.ti software. Parts of speech, pronunciation, speech delivery, feeling, experience, hope, strategy were identified as the domains of challenges confronted by students during the discussion. The findings revealed that vocabulary mastery, pronunciation and fluency aspects seem to impede students’ speaking skills. However, making vlog entries helps to develop students’ interest and motivation to speak English. Furthermore, this research recommends the use of Vlog entries as interactive learning stimuli in teaching speaking skills due to positive responses from students. Key words: challenges; interactive; stimuli, speaking skills; vlog entries

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Norfarizan Mohamad1, Suraini Mohd Ali2, Fariza Puteh Behak3
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Malaysia
Abstract
Vlog is a portmanteau of the word ‘video’ and ‘blog’. Nowadays, vlogging is perceived as a
new and popular trend in blogging circle and differs from its parent, textual blogging, by
offering audio-visual capabilities to communicate. Vlog’s various functionality serves the
purpose of becoming an ideal 21st century learning tool for teaching English speaking skills.
Therefore, this research is conducted to find out the challenges encountered by students during
the discussion of weekly Vlog entries for their English lesson. A qualitative research method
was used in this research. All the vlog entries; which include self-preparation and self-
reflection notes for the 3 theme units (following the Malaysian syllabus of Form 3 English
Close-Up textbook) were interpreted descriptively by using an Atlas.ti software. Parts of
speech, pronunciation, speech delivery, feeling, experience, hope, strategy were identified as
the domains of challenges confronted by students during the discussion. The findings revealed
that vocabulary mastery, pronunciation and fluency aspects seem to impede students’ speaking
skills. However, making vlog entries helps to develop students’ interest and motivation to speak
English. Furthermore, this research recommends the use of Vlog entries as interactive learning
stimuli in teaching speaking skills due to positive responses from students.
Key words: challenges; interactive; stimuli, speaking skills; vlog entries
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Today, technology and education are inseparable. This is because information
technologies have become more prominent and received increased attention in education over
the past decade (Adelsberger, Collis & Pawlowski, 2013). With the evolution of technology,
various instructional media have been regarded as ways of helping students to improve their
language skills, especially speaking. One of the media variants is the advances of video.
According to Kahler, Jacobs, Raftery and Ditnes (2017) that students are accustomed to
watching videos for their classes and coursework in colleges and universities; 68% of students
report that they watch videos in their classes.
Knowing the fact that English is treated as a second language in Malaysia, many students seem
reluctant to speak the language; be it for formal purpose or even in a daily casual conversation.
Mariadass & Kashef (2012) concerned with the scenario where English is taught as the second
language (ESL) in Malaysian schools led to the poor performance of the students starting from
primary moving towards secondary school where they learn a few subjects in English. Failure
to speak a structurally correct English grammar is caused by a situation where many secondary
school students are not interested or motivated in learning speaking due to certain factors such
as feeling of anxiety, lack of interest and also unenthusiastic attitude. This long-term existing
scenario is still happening up to these days because some students feel difficult when they
speak English due to their inner thought whether the sentences that they say adhere to the
grammatical rules or not. Their anxiety and lack of confidence demotivate them from learning
to speak the language. Not only that, natural shyness, diffidence and fear of embarrassing
themselves baulk Malaysian students in their effort to learn English (Sa’don, N., 2019). Thus,
with English, students’ needs more practices and less fear to try to speak up using English.
As second language learners, students should be able to communicate or express what they
want in the targeted language so that their messages would be delivered successfully;
understandable by the others. Simultaneously, preparing and equipping oneself with the
knowledge of technology is indeed compulsory towards building up a generation of
technological wizardries. On another note, students’ mental roadblocks and toxic feelings
should be trashed out so that they will be guided comprehensively and persistently to speak
proper English despite they are given an equal; right opportunity for each of them to learn to
speak English. To develop speaking skills, there are some aspects that should be concerned.
They are grammar, vocabulary and communicative competence. All these complementary
aspects will be evaluated in the English-Speaking Test for Form Three Assessment
(Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga); among form three students in Malaysia.
Technology integration is defined as ‘the process of determining which electronic tools and
which methods for implementing them are the most appropriate responses to given classroom
situations and problems’ (Roblyer & Doering, 2010, p. 8). Several promising outcomes from
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the integration of technology are ubiquitous technology environments can arouse student
interest in using the technologies (Huang, Huang, Huang, & Lin, 2012; Sandberg, Maris, & de
Geus, 2011) and promote better learning outcomes in listening, speaking and vocabulary
acquisition (Gromik, 2012; Liu & Chu, 2010; Sandberg et al., 2011). With the advancement of
modern technologies, it is the need of the hour to integrate them to upgrade the level of English
teaching. Vlog as one of the modern technologies; can be implemented in a language classroom
to relax the mind of the students in order to get into the subject with full involvement rather
than a difficult task to do. Lestari (2019) agrees that video blogging or vlog has advantages
than the usual text blogging because it combined the video, sound, pictures and also text to
increase the content, context, information and thus evoke more emotions which can be shared
with other users.
Looking at the context of this paper which zoom in to vlog entries discussion, vlog is actually
a portmanteau of the word ‘video’ and ‘blog’. In the earlier days the vlogs were called as
podcast, because it was a term referring to the audio and video blog combination. Nowadays,
the term itself blends and has its own characteristics (Combe & Codreanu, 2016). Vlogs are
personal record that shapes in the form of videos that are updated and distributed publicly
through personal channel on video sharing platform, for instance YouTube, Flickr, and so on.
In addition, vlogs are forms of blogging activities using video as the tools over its main media
sources, which is text and audio (McCarthy, 2010). Combe & Codreanu (2016) mentioned that
Vlog has “potential for supporting informal language learning, speaking and inter cultural
interaction between other users”. Looking forward on the Vlog’s future educational prospect,
this research aimed to implement vlog entries as edutainment stimulus to unleash students’
potential to speak English. Students were asked to make vlog entries; based on the 3 theme
units in the Form Three ‘Close-Up’ textbook. The first theme unit is ‘Family Ties’, then ‘Food,
Food, Food!’, followed by ‘The Wonders of Nature’. Prior to the vlog recording, students were
required to write self-preparation notes (individually) depicting about their overall plan of what
to say. Once the vlog recording was completed, they had to self-reflect their speaking skills in
terms of grammar, vocabulary and communicative competence individually; through one page
length of writing.
2. Methods
This research used qualitative method; focusing on a case study to obtain a more
comprehensive finding about the speaking challenges encountered by students during
discussion of weekly Vlog entries for their English lesson. Qualitative research is an approach
for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or group ascribe to a social or human
problem; as stated by Creswell (2014:2). Yldrm and imek (2012) agreed that in case study,
an event or case is examined thoroughly and sophisticatedly in its own real environment.
Students’ vlog entries were assessed based on the PT3 Rubric of Speaking Assessment
Scoresheet (Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia) which covers the aspect of grammar, vocabulary
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and communicative competence. All these criteria were used as a guideline for measuring the
students’ speaking skills whether there has been improvement or not.
The participants of this research were 3 groups of form three students; consisting of 4 males
and 9 females. Group 1 was referred to the all-male participants while Group 2 and Group 3
were dominated by all the female participants. These participants are students of a boarding
school; Banting Science Secondary School. All these group participants made vlog entries
pertaining to the ‘Family Ties’, ‘Food, Food, Food!’, and finally ‘The Wonders of Nature’
theme unit which appear as Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3 consecutively in the Form Three ‘Close-
Up’ textbook.
Content of the students’ Vlog entries in this research was based on their preparation notes (ideas
written in sentences) following the theme unit in English ‘Close Up’ textbook. Self-reflection
notes are individual written notes consisting of ones’ reflections pertaining to the overall
performance during discussion in terms of grammar, vocabulary and communicative
competence. Speaking assessment score sheet will be used to evaluate each student’s speaking
performance in the Vlog entries. Below are the 3 criteria to be assessed when evaluating
students’ performance in Speaking Paper 3:
1. Grammar (5 marks)
2. Vocabulary (5 marks) Marks will be given by the Assessor
3. Communicative Competence (5 marks)
4. Overall Production (5 marks) – Marks will be given by the Interlocutor
3. Results and Discussion
Vlog entries for their English lesson
Students’ speaking challenges during discussion of weekly Vlog entries for their English lesson
were discovered from their self-reflection notes; which were written individually after they
completed their vlog entries. The challenges were clustered according to seven domains. They
were speech delivery, parts of speech, pronunciation, experience, feeling, hope, strategy. Since
most participants were first timers involving in vlog entries discussion, they were all agreed
with their moderate performance in terms of speech delivery. They could not resist the feeling
of being messed up, rambling, stutter or even forgot of what they are supposed to say. Referring
to the element of parts of speech, there was one response from a male participant whom
admitted that his grammar was mediocre throughout the discussion. Henceforth, all of them
agreed that their pronunciation need to be improved too.
Due to the fact that all the participants in this research were first timers of doing vlog entries
discussion; therefore, they seemed to experience few events that occurred throughout their
journey of completing the vlog entries. One of the events was to video record the discussion
for the second attempt to avoid sounded quite scripted and look alike an ‘essay reading’
throughout their whole discussion. To overcome this hiccup, these male participants took notes
of their errors that emerged during the first recording and subsequently improved for their
second and third shot attempt.
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Students’ vlog entries
In this research activity, 3 groups participated in making vlog entries discussion. The speaking
challenges were revealed from the self-reflection notes written by the participants; individually.
Atlas.ti software was used by the researcher to identify the challenges and code the domains
accordingly. Findings pertaining to the challenges are presented in the table and infographic
below:
Table 1: Participants & their criteria of domains for UNIT 1
Participant/
Gender
DOMAINS
Parts
of
Speech
Speech
Delivery
(M2) Nifail X X
M4) Adam
(F2) Muza X X X X X X
(F3) Alyaa
(F5) Aina X
(F6) Ainul X
Table 2: Participants & their criteria of domains for UNIT 2
Participant/
Gender
DOMAINS
Parts
of
Speech
Speech
Delivery
(M1) Fahim X X
(F4) Nurin X X
(F6) Ainul X
Table 3: Participants & their criteria of domains for UNIT 3
Participant/
Gender
DOMAINS
Parts
of
Speech
Speech
Delivery
(M1) Fahim X X X X
(M2) Nifail X X X
(M3) Raziq X X X
M4) Adam
(F6) Ainul X X X X X
(F7) Alia
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X = No Response
In terms of experience domain, F4 participant mentioned that vlogging activity was fun because
they could relax while talking about the things that they love despite creating a good and
understanding team. Meanwhile, F3 realized that after spending dozens of hours reading
through the internet, newspapers and magazines, she has gotten a plenty of information and
knowledge, coincidentally. This scenario implies that collaborative learning and its outcome is
dependent on the behavior of the individuals in their group as well as their level of interaction.
According to Hoppe et. al. (Hoppe) collaborative learning has to involve a high degree of social
interaction between the participants of a learning activity. The level of interaction and the
quality of it will affect the learning outcome. Meaning, social interaction is not the only factor
that could affect the outcome but external factors such as group composition and learning
context could greatly affect the group dynamic, and how well the participants are able to solve
their assignments.
Even though the aspects of pronunciation and fluency seem to impede participants’ speaking
skills, but they do insist on challenging themselves to produce a better vlog entry on their next
discussion. They believe on the principle that the more vlogging activity they do, the more
highly perfect grammar, vocabulary and communicative competence they could achieve. All
the male participants were agreed on this. Concurrently, M2 participant expects for a closed-
bond friendship to be developed too through the progressing of a weekly vlog entry discussion.
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4.0 Conclusion and Recommendation
Using vlog entries in English language learning is potential for promoting speaking skills and
develop students’ computer literacy skills such as recording, editing and finally publishing vlog
entries. These activities are rich of language aspects such as vocabulary, fluency,
pronunciations and intonation. The students also perceived their vlog entries discussion
positively due to its’ fun, interesting and flexibility aspect. According to Rodrigo, G (2018),
learning for fun is a holistic approach to education with the goal of nurturing the passion for
learning and continuous development throughout life. It is a holistic pedagogical strategy to
make learning gratifying, engaging and effective. It drives motivation, flow, passion and
engagement by using fun and innovative ways of learning. Besides, Rakhmanina and
Kusumaningrum (2017) believe that vlog offers comfortable and personal sites for people to
practice the target languages. Not to mention, one way to make teaching speaking effective and
meaningfully is when the educators consider potential and creative teaching options to
overcome students’ learning challenges such as their lack of interest in and attention to the
subject (Annisa, 2020).
To improve the quality of English education in Malaysia, more research needs to be done to
investigate the other aspects of vlogging in English learning such as students’ motivation,
learning outcomes and other impacts. Considering a famous received attention and trending
phenomenon among youths nowadays, vlogging activity is ideal to be implemented in
classrooms to encourage students to practise speaking English.
Acknowledgement
This paper is an output of the research study pertaining to the English Language Speaking
among form three students in Banting Science Secondary School, Selangor, Malaysia.
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