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Benefits and importance of using the book of words by Abai Kunanbayev to English teaching in kazakhstani universities

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  • L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan

Abstract and Figures

Teachers always search new methods and materials to make their lessons more interesting and productive. One of the most challenging kinds of materials for English lessons is using literature. Language learning requires four skills of reading comprehension, writing, listening and speaking. Some materials cannot provide assignments to improve these skills, but literature fulfills these four skills. Literature in teaching and learning English helps to deal with culture, customs and traditions. This paper aims to pinpoint the relevant role of literature, especially The Book of Words of Abai Kunanbayev in English teaching. The Book of Words is the invaluable treasure of Kazakh literature to share perception, support and negotiate opinions, increase reasoning and critical thinking. The present paper will discuss the importance and benefits of using literature as a good source in teaching English language.
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I J A B E R, Vol. 14, No. 15 (2016): 10687-10704
BENEFITS AND IMPORTANCE OF USING THE BOOK
OF WORDS BY ABAI KUNANBAYEV TO ENGLISH
TEACHING IN KAZAKHSTANI UNIVERSITIES
M.Zh. Tussupbekova*, M.A. Idrissova* and B.G. Smagulova*
Abstract: Teachers always search new methods and materials to make their lessons more
interesting and productive. One of the most challenging kinds of materials for English lessons
is using literature. Language learning requires four skills of reading comprehension, writing,
listening and speaking. Some materials cannot provide assignments to improve these skills,
but literature fulfills these four skills. Literature in teaching and learning English helps to
deal with culture, customs and traditions. This paper aims to pinpoint the relevant role of
literature, especially The Book of Words of Abai Kunanbayev in English teaching. The Book
of Words is the invaluable treasure of Kazakh literature to share perception, support and
negotiate opinions, increase reasoning and critical thinking. The present paper will discuss
the importance and benefits of using literature as a good source in teaching English language.
Keywords: Abai Kunanbayev, benefits, culture, foreign language, literature, the Book of Words.
1. INTRODUCTION
Abai Kunanbayev was born in 1845 and died in 1904. Abai Kunanbayev is a
Kazakh poet, composer, and a philosopher, as well as an important Figure in the
development of Kazakh as a legitimate written language. Abai’s main contribution
lies in his poetry, which grew out of Kazakh folk culture. His creative poetry affected
the philosophical thinking of educated Kazakhs. Nowadays, Kazakhs refer to Abai
as one of the first folk heroes to enter into the national consciousness of his people.
Abai was the first who translated the works of Russian and European authors into
Kazakh language. He translated the poems of Michael Lermontov, Jonan Wolfgang
von Goethe, Lord Byron, and Alexander Pushkin. Abai’s major work is The Book
of Words, is a philosophical treatise and collection of poems where he encourages
people to embrace education literacy, and good moral character in order to escape
poverty, enslavement and corruption. The Book of Words consists of 45 Words.
Today The Book of Words is continuing to be translated into different languages.
The Book of Words was translated into French by Antoine Garcia, into English by
* L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan. Email: Tusupbekova_mzh@mail.ru,
mapruza_2015@mail.ru and batagoz1967@mail.ru
10688 l M.Zh. Tussupbekova, M.A. Idrissova and B.G. Smagulova
Richard Mac Kein, and also it was translated into Mongolian, Chinese, and Korean
languages. The French scholar Albert Fishler, laureate of French academic Palm
Branch has recommended that The Book of Words is to be read into French. French
scholars compare The Book of Abai with “Stages on Life’s Way” by Soren Kierkegaard
(Kierkegaard, 2013).
In his work The Book of Words Abai Kunanbayev paid a special attention to
learning languages. He thought that the window to the world was opened through
the languages. At the same time, he marked that breadth of views and all-humanity
obliges to learn languages of other people. The study of other languages enables to
understand cultures of other peoples. Therefore, he appealed to all Kazakhs to study
Western literature, science and philosophy, because this facilitates intercultural
communication and exchange of values.
2. USING LITERATURE IN TEACHING
Paran noted that using literature in foreign language teaching plays a great role from
different perspectives (2008; Abdul Amir, 2015). Firstly, literature helps students
to learn a wide range of new words and expressions, phrases, phrasal verbs,
proverbs and quotes. Indeed, using literary texts in English teaching stimulates
the imagination, offers learners specimens of language use, and allows making
group discussions and individual exploration (Alam, 2007). It is known, that
literature is created by language (words, expressions, phrases, sayings, proverbs
etc.) ‘Literature is an ally of language’ (Brumfit and Carter, 1986). Moreover, each
of us uses literature in our daily life; through the literature we learn to read, listen,
translate, and speak. Literature is a tool to represent our old traditions and customs.
Literature is one of the valuable language teaching resources (Duff and Maley,
1990). Using literature in language teaching has an advantage of providing cultural
information, increasing students’ insight into the country and the people (Collie
and Slater, 1991; Pradhan, 2016), enabling students to understand and appreciate
culture, society and ideology, and encouraging personal growth and intellectual
development (Carter and Long, 1991).
3. RESEARCH MODEL
The purpose of this study is to investigate the importance and benefits of using the
Work of Abai in teaching and learning English. It focuses on three particular stages
(see Figure 1):
1. Input Stage
2. Learning Activities Stage
3. Output Stage
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10689
The Input Stage is important to generate and organize ideas according to the
research. During this process, students are introduced with the aim of the research:
Abai’s literature and “Cinquain” method. Learning Activity Stage supposes practical
work with assignments to improve reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of
students. Output Stage means to collect data of our research and evaluate the benefits
of using literature at English lessons using graphs, tables and a questionnaire.
4. INPUT STAGE
The cinquain method is a technique of active study with using literature in teaching
any foreign language. Adelaide Crapsey was the first who developed a variation
of the “Cinquain”. Cinquain is a class of poetic forms that employs a 5-line pattern
(Hobsbaum, 1996). Cinquain is a five-line poem that reflects affective and cognitive
responses to a concept (Shrum and Glisan, 1994). There are many variations of
the “Cinquain”. Below we present some of the popular and simple forms of the
“Cinquain”.
First
The first line is one word, which is the title of the poem.
The second line contains two words, which are adjectives that describe the title.
The third line has three words that tell the reader more about the subject of the
poem or shows action.
The fourth line has four words that show emotions about the subject of the
poem and may be individual words or phrases.
The fifth line is one word that is a synonym of the title or is very similar to it.
For example:
Watermelon
Juicy, sweet
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Dripping, slurping, smacking
So messy to eat
Yummy
Second
This form is just slightly different from the first form in that the fourth line is a
complete sentence and may have more than four words.
The first line is one word.
The second line contains two adjectives.
The third line has three words ending in “ing.”
The fourth line has four or more words that make a complete a sentence.
The fifth line is one word.
For example:
Acrobats
Flexible, amusing
Flipping, twirling, jumping
They make me laugh
Performers
All words of Abai are used by many people in real situations of life. These words
contain spiritual heritage of nations and accompany everyone from the early stage
of development. Having studied and analyzed the “Cinquain” method we decided
to structure The Book of Words in the following way:
The first line is one word, which is the title.
The second line contains five verbs from the text.
The third line has five nouns that tell the reader more about the subject of the
topic.
The fourth line has five adjectives that show emotions about the text.
The fifth line is the main quotation in the text.
The Book of Words stores the deep meaning of the word life with various examples.
Gathering The Book of Words in “Cinquain” is a valuable and suitable material for
teachers and students. There are some advantages of “Cinquain” method for The
Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev. First, students get familiar with the title of each
part, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and quotation. Moreover, students learn to use some
important sayings in real life situations, speak accurately, and become more fluent
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10691
and creative. The Book of Words gives opportunity to learn to ask, dispute, criticize,
and make some researching works in future. On the basis of examples of “Cinquain”
method, we tried to compose “Cinquains” on The Book of Words (Picture 1).
Figure 1: The Cinquain of The Book of Words
5. LEARNING ACTIVITIES STAGE
This conducted research included different ways of gathering information from
students that contributes the answers to the main questions and aims in this research.
First of all, to study the “Cinquain”method it was necessary to find some information
on the Internet and study the different sources that are available.
To achieve the aim of the research, two main methods were used questionnaire
and interview, providing with information continuing the students’ points of view.
The questionnaire and the“Cinquain” method were sent to students of different
groups of ENU by e-mail.
The subjects in this research were 46 students, who are considered ESL learners
of the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Astana city, Kazakhstan.
Therefore, participant selection for this research was based on the ESL groups of
the 1st and 2nd year students ranged from Faculty of Economics to Social Sciences
and others.
10692 l M.Zh. Tussupbekova, M.A. Idrissova and B.G. Smagulova
A priority goal of English language teaching is to develop four language skills:
reading, writing, listening and speaking. Formats of the tasks covered all these skills
activities. Sampled groups of this study were given tasks to achieve the aim of
the research. The first and one of the most influential steps was to teach students
literacy skills.
Reading
In this research, the first target was based on reading of Forty-Five Words of Abai’s
Book of Words. Reading success influences on learners’ later academic achievement.
For data analysis purposes, students were provided with the Book of Abai, then they
were instructed first to read and then to choose five Words of Abai out of Forty-Five
ones in which they were interested more. The explanation material for reading was
delivered to the classroom in verbal instruction and as handouts.
Writing
It included instructions and explanations from both the researchers and developed
“Cinquain” method templates. Researchers are the teachers of English at the L.N.
Gumilyov Eurasian National University. Using the “Cinquain” method templates
designed by the researchers, students were suggested to write their own extracts.
Listening
It included listening of the original extracts from the Book of Words by Abai
Kunanbayev. Due to this approach students were able to compare and analyze the
original Abai’s extract with their own ones.
Speaking
The number of students was divided into five subgroups. The task was to explain the
meaning and understanding of the quotation of the chosen Word of Abai. Language
enables a person to put across his individuality.
6. OUTPUT STAGE
Reading
The teachers, as experts, led the groups step-by-step to the expected outcome. The
survey was completely fulfilled by 100% of students’ participation. The majority
of participants were students of the 1st year with 80% and the 2nd year students
were approximately 20%. The results of the reading were grouped into categories
based on the interests of students. The cognitive load led the learners to conscious
choice.
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10693
Figure 2 shows that the number of students and their interest to Words of Abai.
Among 46 students 10 think that Words of Abai # 2, 19 are wise, reasonable and that
this philosopher was enough self-critical. Students used critical thinking writing
that the The Words of Abai raised their consciousness. The child learns good or bad
by listening, watching, touching and tasting. The more a child experiences, the more
he knows. Much more can be learnt by hearing the words of reasonable people. It
is not enough just to have intellect, but listening and remembering instructions of
knowledgeable people you can become a complete human being.
Figure 2: The result of interests to the Words of Abai
Furthermore, they consider that the Book of Words is immortal and eternal and
they are sure that these Words of Abai play enlightening role. 8 students have chosen
Words of Abai # 1, 7,12,15,25. According to the students’ writing, any young person
is developed by watching, learning and acquiring knowledge. Firstly, language is
a source of being the smartest person. Secondly, it is a source of achieving many
aims. Maybe it would be enough for Kazakh children to know mother tongue, but
however, in order to be a successful and clever person, Kazakh young generation
should learn other languages without any hesitations. They should not waste time
on silly things. In his Words, Abai gives a good advice “Once a day or once a month,
we should ask ourselves “Have I done anything to improve my learning for this
period?” The Words of Abai teach young people to become adaptable, creative,
inventive and above all independent.
When learners know what they are going to write about, they have more
processing space to express their thoughts and ideas. 7 students have written that
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Words of Abai # 11 and 18 describe people’s living and types of people. How should
people live? There are different people in the world: someone is honest, clever and
knows why he lives. Someone is a swindler, a thief. In addition, the quotation of
Abai is so clear: if there were no thieves and swindlers, our people would think
carefully. What is good or bad, we learn it by the whole life since the childhood until
our death. However, the most important time when we start to understand all these
things is childhood. It is the most effective moment when everything influences on
a person. Everything depends on a family’s life style.
As illustrated in the diagram 1, the number of students who have chosen the
Words of Abai # 9, 10 and 16 are 6. On the one hand, some students wrote that person’s
achievement is karma. It means we acquire what we deserve. On the other hand,
some students think that the idea is to show the difference of achievements of every
person. That is all he/she knows, he/she cannot get any wiser at the young age.
All our lives we fall or take troubles. Everybody gets big experience in his/her life
while it makes him/her wiser. When you are getting older, there the idea comes
that you have enough knowledge and start to help young generation.
5 students express their vision and understanding of the Words of Abai # 5, 6,
8, 17 with the help of “Cinquain” method. The main idea is that life is harmony.
Analyzing the Words of Abai, students noticed that Abai compares the highest and
the lowest segments of society, to be exactly, rich and poor people. You cannot only
work, but you cannot only enjoy life. The point is that we must have a living soul
and a pure mind. If the soul is dead, words of reason will not reach your mind,
and you will not earn an honest living. Another point is how society affects on a
person’s life and his/her achievements. When society reaches solidarity and unity,
it reaches a new level of moral development. Moreover, it is important to note that
being in unity does not mean just in communal wealth, but in person’s mind too.
The following Words of Abai were of less importance. Only 4 participants were
interested in Words of Abai #4 and 43, while the number of students who have
chosen Words of Abai # 14, 28, 29, 33, 44 is 3. 2 students think that Words # 3, 13, 21,
38, 41, 45 play an important role in the life of people. However, it does not mean
that they are not so significant, because person’s behavior plays a great role in the
society. People should know how to behave themselves in different situations. If
you are a foolish person, you will laugh at the lack of human beings. Nevertheless,
clever ones will only help people to correct their mistakes and find the right way.
Therefore, people should analyze their actions what is bad and what is good
for others. The person with good abilities is able to distinguish beneficial from
harmful.
There is variety of themes according to other Words of Abai that students have
chosen. The number of them is more than 20. It is connected with students’ choice
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10695
who did reading and writing tasks. Every person is individual and has an individual
point of view that is why Words of Abai # 20, 22, 24, 26, 32, 35, 36, 39, 42 were chosen
only by one student.
On the other hand, some Words of Abai, namely, # 23, 27, 30, 31, 34, 37, and 40
have not been chosen and analyzed by the participated students. The reason was
that the themes were difficult to understand. Another reason was that there were
too many unfamiliar words and slangs.
7. WRITING
Having done the reading assignments, students wrote their own extracts to one of
the Words of Abai, using one of the forms of the “Cinquain” method. According to
the “Cinquain” method, this form is used for The Book of Words of Abai:
The first line is the title.
The second line contains five verbs from the text.
The third line has five nouns that tell the reader more about the subject of the
topic.
The fourth line has five adjectives that show emotions about the text.
The fifth line is the main quotation in of the text.
One of the social functions of any language is to express person’s cultural ideas
and attitudes. The participated students of the research expressed their individual
points of view while doing their writing assignment. Recommended activity
demands focus on vocabulary (“Cinquain”), because in this activity, vocabulary
is seen more helpful for the successful performance of the students’ points of
view. Students think that the “Cinquain” method helps them to understand better
the information from the text and analyze it. The“Cinquain” method gave them
“landscapes” of meanings of the Words of Abai.
For example: The Word of Abai # 19
1. Good or bad? (the title)
2. Enthusiasm, wisdom, justice, brain, conclusion (the nouns)
3. To be involved, to born, to examine, to taste, to be endowed (the verbs)
4. Reasonable, complete, wise, excessive, good or bad (the adjectives)
5. What can you talk about with a man, who does not know the value of words?
(the quotation)
10696 l M.Zh. Tussupbekova, M.A. Idrissova and B.G. Smagulova
The student’s extract to the Word of Abai # 19:
‘When a child is born and appears in this universe he still doesn’t understand
what is good or bad. Actually when a child is born, he usually has only one purpose
to be satisfied by food and sleep. Growing up he examines everything by touching
and tasting. Then he develops daily with enthusiasm by acquiring knowledge
using his brain and he feels that he is completely and excessively involved in life.
But the man understands he is endowed to be wise. The more he lives the more
knowledge and wisdom he has. Much can be learned by hearing the words of
reasonable people. A person should know the value of words to promote justice.
So after living a long life a man becomes wise and now he knows what is good
and what is bad’.
As we see, this student attempts to use all given words of the “Cinquain” and
expresses the main idea of the Word of Abai. In order to summarize and evaluate
the participants’ writing skills in this research, we took into account grammatical
range and accuracy, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource from the “Cinquain”,
and the task achievement. In general, the students should get 100 scores (Table 1):
Table 1
Criteria for the writing task
Scores Grammatical range
and accuracy
Coherence and
cohesion
Lexical resource from
the “Cinquain” Task achievement
100 20 20 30 30
According to the special criteria, we analyzed the students’ writing assignments
in table 2. There was not accurate use of complex grammar in the grammatical range.
He used more simple grammar sentences and made some mistakes. Student’s’
score was assessed 15 for coherence and cohesion, it is good that he expressed his
ideas, but not all sentences were logically connected. Student’s score for the lexical
resource from the “Cinquain” was 25. It was explained by his right use of vocabulary,
especially nouns, adjectives, but there was not enough number of collocations and
connotations. As far as task achievement was concerned, his score was also 25. He
presented his idea clearly on Words of Abai # 19 with a good understanding of the
meanings of the words, but he used less than 250 words. His total score was 80.
Table 2
The student’s result
Scores Grammatical range
and accuracy
Coherence and
cohesion
Lexical resource from
the “Cinquain” Task achievement
80 15 15 25 25
According to the writing criteria, these results show us that the “Cinquain”
method proves its effectiveness. The“Cinquain” method helps students to be
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10697
personally involved, to enrich their vocabulary using the valuable authentic
material. The results of the writing work show that all students can use verbs,
nouns, adjectives and quotation of the “Cinquain” method. It shows that it is an
enjoyable activity for students to enlarge their vocabulary, consolidate grammar
and improve writing skills.
8. LISTENING
Students listened to the Words of Abai # 19 and 2, as majority of them have chosen
those ones.
Word 2 Word 19
In my childhood I used to hear the Kazakhs
jeering at the Uzbeks:
«You, Sarts, in wide skirts, you bring your rushes
from afar to thatch your roofs! You bow and
scrape when you meet someone, but you insult
him behind his back. You are afraid of every bush;
you rattle on without stopping, and that’s why
they call you Sart-Surts».
Encountering Nogais, the Kazakhs would
ridicule and scold them, too: «The Nogai is afraid
of the camel, he soon gets tired astride a horse and
takes his rest walking. Runaways and soldiers
and traders — all of them hail from the Nogais.
Nokai is what you should be called, not Nogai!»
About the Russians they used to say:
«The red-headed Urus, once he spies an aul,
gallops fit to break his neck towards it, permits
himself to do whatever comes into his head,
demands to hear all the rumours and gossip, and
believes everything he is told.»
A child is not born a reasonable being. It is only
by listening and watching, examining everything
by touching and tasting, that it learns what is
good and what is bad. The more a child sees and
hears, the more it knows. One may learn a good
deal by listening to wise men. It is not enough
to be endowed with a brain—only by hearing
and memorising the teachings of the learnt and
by avoiding vices one can grow up a complete
person.
But if one listens to wise words either with
excessive enthusiasm or, conversely, paying too
little attention, without asking what may not be
clear, trying to get to the heart of the matter or
drawing one’s own conclusions, even though one
may feel the wisdom and justice of such good
counsels— what is the use of listening?
What can you talk about with a man who does
not know the value of words?
As one sage put it: better to feed a pig that
recognises you…
Having listened to the Words of Abai # 2 and 19, students carried out some
activities.
Tasks to the Word of Abai # 2
Task 1: Listen to the Word of Abai # 2 and write down the characteristics to nationalities
which are talked about (the Kazakhs, the Uzbeks, the Nogais, and the Russians).
1. The Kazakhs («It turns out that the whole wide world has no worthier and
nobler people than the Kazakhs! »);
2. The Nogai (The Nogai is afraid of the camel; he soon gets tired astride a horse
and takes his rest walking. Runaways, soldiers, and traders— all of them hail
from the Nogais. Nokai is what you should be called, not Nogai! »);
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3. The Russians (The red-headed Urus, once he spies an aul, gallops fit to break his
neck towards it, permits himself to do whatever comes into his head, demands
to hear all the rumours and gossip, and believes everything he is told);
4. The Uzbeks (“You Starts in wide skirts, you bring your rushes from afar to thatch
your roofs! You bow and scrape when you meet someone, but you insult him
behind his back. You are afraid of every bush; you rattle on without stopping,
and that’s why they call you Sart-Surts”).
Task 2: Listen to the Word of Abai # 2 again, use the tape script and write down the
verbs and adjectives which the author uses to describe these nationalities.
# Verbs Adjectives
1 to bow wide
2 to scrape worthy
3 to insult noble
4 to be afraid nimble
5 to rattle on exalted
6 to ridicule learnt
7 to scold fine (soldiers)
8 to get tired (astride a horse) rich
Tasks to the Word of Abai # 19
Task 3: Listen to the Word of Abai # 19 and insert the missed words
1 A child is not born a … being.
2 The more a child …, the more it … .
3 One may learn … by listening to … men.
4 It is not … to be endowed with…- only by hearing and … the teachings of the learnt and by
… one can grow up a complete person.
5 But if one listens to … either with … or, conversely, paying too little …, without asking
what may not be clear, trying … of the matter or drawing one’s …, even though one may
feel the wisdom and justice of such good counsels – what is the use of listening?
Task 4: Listen to the Word of Abai # 19 again and write the correct spelling of the
words:
# Words from the Word of Abai # 19 Correct answer
1 sorabelane reasonable
2 nusitushem enthusiasm
3 someriming memorizing
4 nuncolicos conclusion
5 selveconry conversely
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The results of the present study show that students possess the given
information. Fulfilling the above mentioned tasks students have had opportunities
to enhance and memorise and enlarge their vocabulary. These listening activities
help students to be good at making quick decisions. Writing down the characteristics
to the nationalities students reveal that some literary words are used rarely in
their daily life. It is observed that teaching English through literature develops
students curiosity. Students, learning and listening to the Words of Abai perceive the
culture of different nationalities and also are familiar with the new literary words.
Furthermore, the great variety of adjectives make an influential impact on students
to carry out listening assignments. Students think that the “Cinquain” method helps
them to understand the whole philosophy of the great Words of Abai.
9. SPEAKING
Speaking is “the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of
verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts” (Chaney, 1998, p. 13). As
we understand, speaking is a crucial part in learning and teaching any foreign
languages. Improving speaking skills means to develop students’ communicative
skills. Students should express their minds and learn how to follow the social and
cultural rules appropriate in each communicative circumstance. In order to develop
and improve speaking skills in the “Cinquain” method, we offered students to work
with one of the quotations from the Words of Abai. The students’ preference was
given to the quotation of the Word of Abai # 10 “A good child is a joy, but bad one is a
burden”. Students expressed their ideas using their own understanding with relevant
vocabulary and grammar. We divided them into 5 subgroups to do speaking task.
The example of students’ speaking task is presented in the table 3.
Table 3
Students’ extracts from speaking task
The 1st
group
We liked this expression “A good child is a joy, but bad one is a burden.” However, in
some cases we absolutely disagree with that. Despite the deep meaning of the quotation,
that the child is a burden can be only his parents’ point of you. Obviously, a child will be
good, if parents bring him/her up very well. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your
nation is, how old you are, etc…, the main thing is that we are all human beings. People are
equal to each other, and that is why we all are able to be good and to bring up good ones.
The 2nd
group
Discussing what quotation to choose we were really impressed by many of them, but the
task was to choose only one. So we came to the conclusion that description of the meaning
of the expression“A good child is a joy, but bad one is a burden” will be beneficial for
us. We are sure if you do something with desire you will do it perfectly. Moreover, you
shouldn’t do something in order to get profit because you will not be finally satisfied
and pleased. If you absorb knowledge with love, it will be kept in your memory forever.
Irresistible strong desire and endless love to study will be the supreme blessing to achieve
essential dignified noble aims without any difficulties. That is why in order to reach noble
treasure aims it is important not to commit suspicious humiliation misdeeds and to bring
up merciful worthy young generation.
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The 3rd
group
Abai tries to show us the differences between a good and bad child. Because a child
may become a mercenary in everything. Yes, if you pray to God for wealth and then
you receive it. But you can’t use and save it. Then you become cheaters and liars to have
more and more. Some people pray to God to send a baby. Why do you need this child?
For looking after your property? Or you need somebody to take care of you at the old
age? But if you aren’t honest and you don’t know how to live and survive, what kind of
upbringing can you give your child?
The 4th
group
Great Kazakh poet and bard Abai Kunanbayuly in his 10th Word of edification spoke
about the parents and the child. He wrote how to bring up the child, and explained the
purpose of the child’s life parents.It could not be a lot to ask of God, including the good
child. Before you make a child, you should arrange your life, to establish your own
problems and in the future, you must give your child an excellent education because
looking at the child, the parents can judge what kind of people they are.
The 5th
group
In our opinion, in the Word of Abai # 10 a bay tries to find answer to the question “Why
do people want to have a child?” People want to have a child, to have a heir or a person
who will look after them. Yes, we agree with his words about a good child and a bad
child. A good child is a support and future for parents. But to grow up a good child
is difficult, you must give him a good education, learn him/her to be merciful. A bad
child is a burden. May be, in future he/she will be greedy and cruel. So, before to have
a child you should be ready for it. If somebody wants to have a good child, firstly, they
should try to improve themselves. Education passes from a father to a son. Our children
are our reflection.
Analysing the speaking assignments of students, we concluded that students
liked to work with quotations. All students attempted to understand the Word of Abai
# 10 and expressed their minds about achievements of a child and differentiated a
good and a bad one. In their speech, to prove their point of you they used nouns,
adjectives, verbs on the “Cinquian” method. We see that these words help them to
share their opinion concerning this quotation and to talk freely on this topic.
10. RESULTS
Having done all the stages of our research, we provided our students with the
questionnaire in order to monitor the effectiveness of the “Cinquain” method and
the efficiency of using Abai’s work at English classes. This questionnaire consisted
of 12 questions (Table 3).
Due to the result of our questionnaire, 98% of respondents consider that The
Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev affects positively and makes brilliant influence
on young generation. From their point of view, the wise words and quotations
should be used everywhere by everyone and the“Cinquain” method can help
students to understand it in a very easy way. And approximately 2% of them are
apathetic to this issue. Moreover, more than half of (95%) respondents believe that
the“Cinquain” method can be justified. An estimated 91% would use the“Cinquain”
method and would feel comfortable by understanding the meaning of the Words of
Abai, while only 8% would refuse from the “Cinquain” method by reason of their
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10701
Table 3
Questions on efficiency of the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev
# Questions Answers
1 Would you like to use the words of Abai at
English lessons?
Always Sometimes Never Seldom
2 What Abai’s poems and works did you read? The Book of Words Masgut Iskander Spring
3 What language did you use to read the Book
of Abai?
Kazakh Russian English Others
4 What Words of Abai made a great impression
on you?
1-10 11-20 21-30 31-45
5 How many quotations from the Abai’s Book
of Words do you know by heart?
More than 5 More than 10 More than 15 20 and more
6 What theme from the Book of Abai do you
prefer?
Nationalities Life & relatives Human
Peculiarities
Achievements
7 Did you like to work on the Book of Abai’s
Words during English lessons?
It was very
impressive
It was boring It was productive It was difficult
8 What difficulties did you face working on the
Book of Abai at English lessons?
There are many
unfamiliar words
There are too many
slangs and phrasal
verbs.
There are too
many rhetorical
questions.
Misunderstanding
of the headlines.
9 Was it possible to understand the content
of Abai’s Words with the help of a given
headline in the Cinquain?
Yes, it was easy No, it was unclear It was confusing It was complicated
10 Was every point of the “Cinquain Method (a
headline, nouns, verbs, adjectives, quotation)”
understandable for you?
Understandable Effective Difficult Easy
11 Was the “Method of Cinquain” effective at
English lessons?
Yes No Not always Sometimes
12 What were the benefits of the “Cinquain
Method” for you?
Language
enrichment
Cultural
enrichment
Valuable authentic
material
Personal
involvement
10702 l M.Zh. Tussupbekova, M.A. Idrissova and B.G. Smagulova
situation control about the Book of Words. According to the participants’ opinions,
the majority of them consider that understanding of any literature can be developed
with the help of the“Cinquain” method because of understandable lines and due
to variation of verbs, nouns, adjectives and the main quotation, it is possible to do
experiments on understanding by using the “Cinquain” method.
11. CONCLUSION
We intended to show how important it is to use literature in teaching foreign
languages in Kazakhstani Universities, especially The Book of Words of Abai
Kunanbayev. We found the title of each part, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and quotation.
The Book of Words has a great value in developing speaking, reading, writing, and
listening skills of students. The “Cinquain” of Abai’s work can be a pre-reading
assignment for students and teachers to develop speaking and reading skills. After
having some information about The Book of Words students can work individually,
in pairs or in a group to discuss and share their opinions. The”Cinquain” method
motivates the students by activating their imagination about Abai’s work and even
finding some valuable information.
The Book of Words seems to be the most suitable handout to enhance all four
skills (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) in learning and teaching foreign
languages (Collie and Slater, 1991). First, texts in The Book of Words are simple because
of their length. Second, students can work on The Book of Words individually. Third,
The Book of Words can be used in all stages of education.
We determined 4 benefits of The Book of Words in English teaching. The Book
of Words is valuable authentic material, cultural enrichment, language enrichment
and personal involvement.
Any literature is an authentic material. The Book of Words reflects the authentic
information from real life situations. Example: “Whether for good or ill, I have lived
my life, travelling a long road fraught with struggles and quarrels, disputes and
arguments, suffering and anxiety, and reached these advanced years to find myself
at the end of my tether, tired of everything. I have realized the vanity and futility
of my labors and the meanness of my existence” (the Word of Abai 1).
Through The Book of Words students can imagine full and colorful pictures of
heroes. Example: “Parents, having increased their own herds, will do their best to
ensure that their children’s herds grow ever fatter, so that the livestock can be left in
the care of herdsmen and they can indulge in a life of idleness — gorge themselves
on meat and koumiss, enjoy beautiful women, and feast their eyes on fast horses”
(the Word of Abai 2).
Benefits and Importance of Using the Book of Words by Abai Kunanbayev to English... l 10703
Through The Book of Words students become familiar with many features of
the written language: English grammar structure of sentences, ways of connecting
ideas, syntax, and individual lexical or syntactic items.
The Words of Abai foster students and help them with struggles and challenges
of life. Students become enthusiastic when they feel close to the problems of the
characters, and share their emotional responses, and moral quandaries. In order to
use The Book of Words of Abai Kunanbayev in English teaching, we take into account
students’ needs, motivation, interests, and language level. The texts are relevant to
the real life experiences, emotions, and dreams of students. It is a supreme resource
for observing not only English language but also life itself. The world of short stories
illuminates human life (Sage, 1987).
Thus, using The Book of Words in English teaching will enlarge students’
worldviews about life and people; increase motivation to read authentic material;
promote critical thinking; help to master skills to acquire information, identify
problems, and formulate alternatives; provide a familiar context, and promote
self-understanding.
These benefits lessen the stress of foreign language learning, because the cultural
familiarity with the text helps students to feel more comfortable in the class setting.
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Imperial entanglements and literature in English: using Postcolonial Literature in ELT. Dbaka: Writers. ink
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Alam, F. (2007). Imperial entanglements and literature in English: using Postcolonial Literature in ELT. Dbaka: Writers. ink.
English language teaching: A next gate to social awareness
  • S Pradhan
Pradhan, S. (2016). English language teaching: A next gate to social awareness. International Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, 2(4), 156-158.