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A completed thesis would not be done without any assistance. Therefore, the author who conducted this research gratefully gives the acknowledgement to their support and motivation during the time of doing this research.
First of all, I would like to express my endless thanks and gratefulness to my supervisor, Mrs. Tran Thi Ngoc Lien, PhD. Her kindly support and continuous advice went through the process of completion of my thesis. Her encouragement and comments had significantly enriched and improved my work. Without her motivation and instructions, the thesis would have been impossible to be done effectively.
My special thanks approve to my parents for their endless love, care and and motivations for the whole of my life. I also would like to explain my thanks to my siblings, brothers, sisters for their support and care all the time.
As last, my deep thanks come to all the teachers of Foreign Language Department who gave me a chance to carry out this thesis.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
1.1. Rationale for the study
America and Vietnam are two distinctive countries with many differences. The two countries are on different continents, and there is a wide range of differences between them. The culture, beliefs and practices of the people are also different. However, as the world becomes more global, and as people become more exposed to different cultures, the differences between them seem to be narrower. This is due to the willingness of people to adopt different cultures, while at the same time maintain some of the elements of their own culture. There are several similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American culture, especially in wedding ceremonies. “Wedding customs” is an interesting topic, which attracts much care of young people. Wedding is very important to one’s life, not only to the couple involved but also for both families. Therefore, it usually includes quite a few formal ritual observances. The process of wedding in Vietnam (an Asian country) and America (a Western country) is different from each other. This research will bring the readers common knowledge about wedding customs in those two mentioned countries.
In addition, students of Foreign Language Department have many core subjects related to culture such as: British culture, American Culture, Cross-Cultural Comunication and so one. Many students including the author have difficulties in these subjects, so the author decided to conduct a culture-related research in order to fulfill author’s gap of knowledge in this field as well as to provide indiscriminate information for those who share the same concern. “Wedding custom” is one which most impresses the author due to its various cultural aspects and informative massages hidden in every single feature.
The above reasons are the motivation and driving force for the occurrence of this research.
1.2. Aim and objectives of the study (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
This study is aimed at comparing wedding customs in Vietnamese and American cultures. Therefore, the following objectives are set to fulful the overall aim:
- Identify typical features and stages of wedding customs in Vietnamese culture
- Identify typical features and stages of wedding customs in American culture
- Figure out the similarities and differences between wedding customs in Vietnamese and American culture.
1.3. Research questions
To gain the objectives which are mentioned above, the following research questions were raised:
- Question 1: What are typical features and stages of wedding customs in Vietnam?
- Question 2: What are typical features and stages of wedding customs in America?
- Questions 3: What are the similiraties and differences between Vietnamese and American wedding customs?
1.4. Scope of study
Because of the limitation of time and ability, in this thesis I just study the wedding customs in Vietnamese and American culture starting from Feudalism age to nowadays. I will concentrate about wedding custom with three main stages: pre-wedding ceremonies, main wedding ceremonies and post wedding ceremonies.
1.5. Significance of the study (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Understanding the wedding ceremony between the two countries of Vietnam and the US is very important. Through this it is possible to contribute more research materials on the wedding ceremony. At the same time the research finding ideas offer to help preserve and promote good cultural values at the wedding of both Vietnamese and Americans. From there, it can be applied in practice, contributing to building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity.
1.6. Design of the study
This thesis consists of three main parts as follow:
Part 1: “Introduction” presents thereotical and practical background of the study, the aims, the research questions, scope, significance and the design of the study.
Part 2: “Development” consists of two chapters
- Chapter one provides some basic definitions and classification of “culture” and “marriage” in Vietnam and America.
- Chapter two analyzes typical features and stages of American and Vietnamses wedding customs. Based on that foundation, a comparison was conducted to find out the similarities and differences between wedding customs of those two countries.
Part 3: “Conclusion” summarizes all the main points presented throughout the study. It also presents the limitations of the study in which the author states the reasons for the study’s limitations, and suggestions for further research.
CÓ THỂ BẠN QUAN TÂM ĐẾN DỊCH VỤ
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Customs are all human activities formed in the course of history and settled in order, recognized by the community, passed down from generation to generation. Customs are not fixed and compulsory like rituals and ceremonies, but they are not as arbitrary as daily activities. It becomes a relatively sustainable and relatively unified social practice. Customs can be in a people, locality, social class or even a family, clan. Etiquette is a part of culture and can be divided into many categories. Customary systems related to human life cycles, such as customs of birth, maturity, marriage, longevity and aging …
Customary systems related to human activities in periodic cycles secretion of the year, the customary system related to the human labor cycle …
2.1.2. Importance of culture in daily life
Culture is the physical and mental value system of the creators, which is confirmed by the community, creating the individual identity of the human race, each society. Culture plays an important role in everyday life. Culture is belief, is lifestyle, is the spiritual place encouraging human encouragement constantly exists and develops. Thanks to the culture people have the purpose of living and working. The more people and human societies grow, the need for spiritual culture requires increasing. To meet the cultural needs of the spirit that is to ensure the increasingly growing of material wealth for people and society. Culture is the motivation of development, because every development is determined by man. Culture arouse and multiply all of the creative potential of human beings, mobilizing enormous endogenous strength in humans to contribute to social development. Thanks to the culture that people are becoming increasingly perfected.
2.2. Typical Vietnamese customs (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Customs in Vietnam has a long tradition of thousands of years. It has become a customary law, deeply embedded in people more powerful than laws. According to the ups and downs of the history of the nation, the customs of
Vietnamese people are also constantly changing according to the trend of social and cultural change. However, there are some customs which have lost their own but the customs affirmed the correctness, beauty, and beauty of it through the customs which still exist in the life of Vietnamese today.
The earliest mentioned in the history is betel chewing tradition dating back to Hung King’s thousands of years. Vietnamese and some other ethnic groups still keep this practice in their lives today. betel nut and then become a symbol for the brotherhood and spouses of the Vietnamese people, over time the significance of betel chewing tradition has been expanded to the hospitality and friendship of Vietnamese people.
Being born from the old time with the custom of eating betel nut is a custom to welcome the new year, also known as Tet, Tet is both a tradition and also a belief and a festival of Vietnamese people and some other ethnic groups. . Some other ethnic groups welcome the New Year in other times and their typical names such as Chol Chnam Thmay (around April) of the Khmer, Katie (around October) of the Cham Balamom people, … From the Lunar New Year To welcome the new year, from time to time with influences from China, Vietnamese people add to other Tet customs such as Tet Nguyen Tieu, Tet Han Thuc, Tet Doan Ngo, Mid Autumn Festival,… (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Not mentioning early mention in the history books, the customs of marriage, childbirth and funeral have been associated with Vietnamese people since time immemorial and until today are still customs associated with Vietnamese life.
2.3. Typical American customs
When meeting someone for the first time, Americans often have the habit of shaking hands, including men and women. They often only embrace each other dearly for close friends or long-time friends. Kissing is not common, and men often do not kiss other men.Americans often introduce themselves by first and last name (Hello, I am …) or if not formal and friendly, they only introduce the name (Hi, I am…). Your usual answer when someone introduced you is Pleased to meet you.Unless that person introduces his / her first and last name (Mr / Ms), you should call them by their first names. Usually important to work and society, Americans often call each other by their first names.However, you should always call professors in universities by title and surname (for example, Professor Smith), unless they allow or ask you to call them by name.
In the America, shaking hands is a common greeting. You can shake hands with both men and women at the first meeting or later.Americans have a habit of shaking hands with both hands rather than fingers (not to squeeze to hurt other people’s hands) to show friendliness and enthusiasm. Loose handshakes can be seen as uncertain, lacking in confidence, and even indifferent in relationships. It is rare for Americans to use both hands to shake hands. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Americans often respond by phone by saying “Hello”. If you call for work, the person answering the phone usually starts with the company name and their name after that. If you meet the person you need right away, just say Hello and your name. If not, you should ask the person who answered the phone politely. Most Americans usually have an answering machine at home. At the same time, most companies often have voice messages for their employees so you can leave a message. Give your first name clearly and leave your phone number so they can call you back. The messages should be short and to the point.
There are some situations where people always have to prepare a tip. The most frequent situation is going to a restaurant. Restaurants in America do not charge for service, so customers must leave a tip to the waiter. It is common for people to leave a tip of about 15% of the total bill, or 20% if the service is good. If the service there is unusually bad, they can pay 10% for the service.Other situations where people also have to pay a tip are haircuts, taxis, tips for luggage carriers, parking seekers or bar waiters. Usually the law is 15% of the total payment on the bill. In the absence of an invoice, customers can tip them up, but at least $ 1 to $ 5.
2.4. Mariage (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In article 16 – right to marriage and family, the right declares that “(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
- Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
- The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”
According to the United States Supreme Court, there are at least 14 cases since 1888 rules that marrige is a fundamental right, for example:
Marriage is “the most important relation in life” and “the foundation of the family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.” (Maynard v. Hill, volume 125.U.S. 190,1888)
The right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” is a central part of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause. (Meyer v.Nebraske, volume 262.U.S. 390, 1923)
Marriage is “one of the basic civil rights of man” and “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.” (Skinner.v. Oklahoma ex rel.Wiliamson, volume 316.U.S. 535, 1942)
The concept of marriage as stipulated in Law on Marriage and Family 2016 are as follows: “Marrige is relationship between husband and wife after marriage registration.” (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
In brief, marriage, in generic terms can be defined as an arrangement of each society to correct physiological relationship between man and woman. Marriage is a combination of individuals emotionally, socially and legally. Marriage often is the result of love. Marriage is a fundamental relationship in the family in most societies. In social terms, the wedding event usually marks the official marriage. Legally, it is the marriage registration.
Marriage is usually a combination of a man called husband and a woman called wife. Marriage under polygamy is a type of marriage in which a man has multiple wives. In some countries, same-sex marriages are recognized. In some other countries, the struggle to legalize same-sex marriage is taking place. Currently in Vietnam, marriage and family laws do not prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex, but also does not recognize this kind of marriage.
Cultural background has a great influence on the marriage custom. Culture, in a wide sense, is sum total of material and spiritual products created by man in the historical process of a social practise. In a narrow sense, it refers to a ideology and the political system and constitutional organization corresponding to the ideolody. From cultural perspective, Vietnamese and American attitudes towards marriage and religion are the two main causes of these differences between the marriage customs in two culture. Previously, Americans and Asians have very different ideas about love and marriage.
Firstly, Western people believe in “romantic” marriage – a boy and a girl are attracted to each other, fall in love, and decide to marry each other. Eastern people, on the other hand, believe in “contractual” marriage – the parents of the bride and the groom have great influence in the decision of the young couple’s marriage and love – if it ever develops – is supposed to follow marriage, not precede it. In Vietnam, marriage needs the permission of two families, if parents don’t agree with that marriage, young couple are hard to come together. To show the differences, a survey (cited The 12th grade English book written by Hoang Van Van) conducted among American, Chinese and Indian students to determine their attitudes toward love and marriage. Below is a summary of each group’s responses to the four key values. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
In terms of physical attractiveness, the Americans are much more concerned about appearance than the Indians and the Chinese when choosing a wife or a husband. They also agree that a wife should maintain her beauty and appearance after marriage.
The second key factor is confiding. Few Asian students agree with the American students’ view that wives and husbands share all thoughts. In constrast, a majority of Indians and Chinese think it is better and wiser for a couple not to share certain thoughts. A large number of Indian men agree that it is unwise to confide in their wives.
Another core value in marriage is the partnership of equals. The majority of Asian students reject the American view that marriage is a partnership of equals. Many Indian students agree that a woman has to sacrifice more in a marriage than a man.
The final value which is considered in the study is the trust built on love. Significantly, more Asian students than American students agree that a husband is obliged to tell his wife where he has been if he comes home late. The Asian wife can demand a record of her husband’s activities. The American wife, however, trusts her husband to do the right thing because he loves her not because he has to. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
The comparison of the four values suggests that young Asians and American counterparts’view in love are not similar.
Moreover, in some special cases, Eastern people do not get married just for love. Those people more concern about the educational, social and economic background of their marriage partner than Western people. The attitude of pragmatism is more concerned than the romantic feelings in a marriage. In contrast, Western people rarely get married before they make sure if they are in love with each other. Perhaps we can say that romantic love is part of Western people’s live and they can not live without it. A Western woman can get married to a poor man but still feel satisfied and happy.Though it is not that Eastern people do not have this kind of example, it happens less often because even if they want to get married with someone poor, their parents would not agree. We can see another apparent example that how Eastern and Western parents are showing their love toward their children. Parents in Eastern countries think that they have the obligations to decide what is the best for their children; however, parents in the West believe that it is best for their children to make their own decisions.
Western and Eastern people also have different views of divorce. Divorce is relatively simple and socially accepted in Western countries. Recently, the divorce rate in Western countries such as the U.S. has rocketed. Nevertheless, with the Eastern people, divorce is a serious problem. In some cases, divorce situation embarrasses parents and relatives. In Vietnam, it is not easy for a divorced woman to start a new relationship and family life. They are under pressure of public opinions. This difference is in light of some reasons. Westerners focus more on the physical aspect of relationship, and are thus obsessed with love, sex, beauty and so on. As a result, people get married based on these factors and then get disenchanted with one another very easy. However, Eastern culture that practise arranged marriages places far more emphasis on practical things, such as intergrity, diligence, ambition,humility,generosity and so on. People get married based on practical reasons, and work on building afffection later. Strong characteristics like the ones described above are very conducive to build love and affection in Eastern marriages. Therefore, these marriages seem to be much longer lasting than many Western marriages. It is because the primary emphasis is not on sex, and physical beauty. Arranged marriages are usually successful because the spouses get to know one another on a practical level before, looking beyond issues such as beauty or something like that. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Finally, in Western countries, having children is not a prerequisite of each marriage. Many couples decide not to have children, they receive adopted children instead because they want to have time for each other. In addition, having children before marriage are very common in Western society. Child Trends channel reported that: “After years of growth, the proportion of births that are to unmarried women has leveled off, and since 2009 has been at just over 40 percent”. In contrast, having children is a very important thing of each couple after marriage in Eastern countries. Having children brings about happiness and wealth for family. Besides, Eastern countries are under feudal thinking’s influence, so they don’t accept the children born to unmarried women.
2.5. Overview of wedding customs
A wedding is a ceremony where two or more people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by a couple, presentation of a gift (offering, rings, symbolic item, flowers, money, dress), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony, as well as superstitious customs originating in Ancient Rome.
Some cultures have adopted the traditional Western custom of the white wedding, in which a bride wears a white wedding dress and veil. This tradition was popularized through the marriage of Queen Victoria. Some say Victoria’s choice of a white gown may have simply been a sign of extravagance, but may have also been influenced by the values she held which emphasized sexualpurity. Within the modern ‘white wedding’ tradition, a white dress and veil are unusual choices for a woman’s second or subsequent wedding. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
The use of a wedding ring has long been part of religious weddings in Europe and America, but the origin of the tradition is unclear. One possibility is the Roman belief in the Vena amoris, which was believed to be a blood vessel that ran from the fourth finger (ring finger) directly to the heart. Thus, when a couple wore rings on this finger, their hearts were connected. Historian Vicki Howard points out that the belief in the “ancient” quality of the practice is most likely a modern invention. “Double ring” ceremonies are also a modern practice, a groom’s wedding band not appearing in the United States until the early 20th century.
The exit from the wedding ceremony is also called the “send off”, and often includes traditional practices, such as the newlyweds and the wedding party bowing and kissing the knees of the elders in Ethiopian weddings. The send off often includes throwing rice (a symbol of prosperity and fertility) or other seeds at the newlyweds in most of the Western world, as well as for example India and Malaysia. Despite fears of the opposite, the use of uncooked rice for this purpose is not harmful to birds.
The wedding ceremony is often followed by wedding reception or a wedding breakfast, in which the rituals may include speeches from the groom, best man, father of the bride and possibly the bride, the newlyweds’ first dance as a couple, and the cutting of an elegant wedding cake. In recent years traditions has changed to include a father-daughter dance for the bride and her father, and sometimes also a mother-son dance for the groom and his mother.
2.6. Common wedding customs associated with various religions and cultures (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage, which is seen as a sacred institution in some sense, although terminology and associated theological meanings vary widely from one denomination to another: e.g., “holy matrimony,” “sacrament of marriage,” “holy ordinance of marriage,” “holy union,” and so forth.
In some Western countries, a separate and secular civil wedding ceremony is required for recognition by the state, while in other Western countries, couples must merely obtain a marriage license from a local government authority and can be married by Christian or other clergy authorized by law to do so.
Hindu ceremonies are usually conducted totally or at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu scriptures. The wedding celebrations may last for several days and they can be extremely diverse, depending upon the region, denomination and caste. Mehendi ceremony is a traditional ritual in Hindu weddings, where Henna application takes place on bride’s hands and legs, before the wedding. On the wedding day, the bride and the bridegroom garland each other in front of the guests. Most guests witness only this short ceremony and then socialize, have food and leave. The religious part (if applicable) comes hours later, witnessed by close friends and relatives. In cases where a religious ceremony is present, a Brahmin (Hindu priest) arranges a sacred yajna (fire-sacrifice), and the sacred fire (Agni) is considered the prime witness (sākshī) of the marriage. He chants mantras from the Vedas and subsidiary texts while the couple are seated before the fire. The most important step is saptapadi or saat phere, wherein the bride and the groom, hand-in-hand, encircle the sacred fire seven times, each circle representing a matrimonial vow. Then the groom marks the bride’s hair parting with vermilion (sindoor) and puts a gold necklace (mangalsutra) around her neck. Several other rituals may precede or follow these afore-mentioned rites. Then the bride formally departs from her blood-relatives to join the groom’s family. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
In a traditional Jewish wedding, before the ceremony, the couple formalize a written ketubah (marriage contract), specifying the obligations of husband to the wife and contingencies in case of divorce. The ketubah is signed by two witnesses and later read under the chuppah (wedding canopy).
There are many things done in the wedding customs. First, the couple is married under the chuppah signifying their new home together. The chuppah can be made from a piece of cloth or other material attached to four poles, or a giant tallit (prayer shawl) held over the couple by four family members or friends. The wedding couple is accompanied by both sets of parents and they join the wedding couple under the chuppah. Seven blessings are recited, blessing the bride and groom and their new home. The couple sip a glass of wine from a Kiddush cup . The groom will smash a wine glass with his right foot, ostensibly in remembrance of the destruction of the Second Temple. At some weddings, the couple may declare that each is sanctified to the other, repeat other vows and exchange rings. The ceremony ends with the groom breaking a glass underfoot.
A wedding is typically a happy time for families to celebrate. In the Muslim world, there are colorful, cultural variations from place to place. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
Two male witnesses who are the members of family in most cases, are required for Nikah. According to the Quran, a married Muslim couple, both husband and wife act as each other’s protector and comforter and therefore only meant “for each other”.
All Muslim marriages have to be declared publicly and are never to be undertaken in secret. For many Muslims, it is the ceremony that counts as the actual wedding alongside a confirmation of that wedding in a registry office according to fiqh, in Islam a wedding is also viewed as a legal contract particularly in Islamic jurisprudences. However, most Muslim cultures separate both the institutions of the mosque and marriage, no religious official is necessary, but very often an Imam presides and performs the ceremony, he may deliver a short sermon. Celebrations may differ from country to country depending on their culture but the main ceremony is followed by a Walima (the marriage banquet).
In traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies, brigde arrives in a jiao At traditional Chinese weddings, the tea ceremony is the equivalent of an exchange of vows at a Western wedding ceremony. This ritual is still practiced widely among rural Chinese; however, young people in larger cities, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, tend to practice a combination of Western style of marriage together with the tea ceremony.
When the bride leaves her home with the groom to his house, a “Good Luck Woman” will hold a red umbrella over her head, meaning, “Raise the bark, spread the leaves.” This “Good Luck Woman” should be someone who is blessed with a good marriage, healthy children and husband and living parents. Other relatives will scatter rice, red beans and green beans in front of her. The red umbrella protects the bride from evil spirits, and the rice and beans are to attract the attention of the gold chicken.
The newlyweds kneel in front of parents presenting tea. A Good Luck Woman making the tea says auspicious phrases to bless the newlyweds and their families. The newlyweds also present tea to each other, raising the tea cups high to show respect before presenting the tea to each other. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
The attendants receiving the tea usually give the bride gifts such as jewelry or a red envelope.
The tea ceremony is an official ritual to introduce the newlyweds to each other’s family, and a way for newlyweds to show respect and appreciation to their parents. The newlyweds kneel in front of their parents, serving tea to both sides of parents, as well as elder close relatives. Parents give their words of blessing and gifts to the newlyweds.
2.7. Concluding remarks
This chapter has delineated issues relevant to the weddings and wedding customs in Vietnamese and American culture. A review of the wedding customs associated with religions and cultures support the researcher to analyse typical wedding customs in Vietnamese and American culture. (Khóa Luận: Factors affecting speaking skills in english of Children)
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