Difficulties Encountered By Saudi EFL University Learners in Oral Communicative Classroom Activities and Their Impact on English Oral Performance (A Case Study of the College Of Science and Arts- Tanumah-King Khalid University) (Published)
The study investigates the difficulties encountered by Saudi EFL university learners in oral communicative classroom activities and their impact on English oral performance communication. The Population of this study targets 20 EFL university instructors in the College of Science and Arts for female students and the College of Science and Arts for male students in Tanumah, King Khalid University in the first semester of the academic year 2019/2020. The population also consists of 35 EFL university third level female students and 35 EFL university third level male students in the two above-mentioned colleges. To collect data, the study depends on the analysis of structured interview conducted on EFL university instructors and on the analysis of the students’ oral test in addition to the personal observation of the researchers. The study has come out with the conclusion that, the oral English communicative performance of Saudi EFL university learners is characterized by errors of grammar, pronunciation, intonation, filler words, and inappropriate choice of words, lack of fluency, lack of confidence, hesitation and fear of making errors. However, the study attributes these difficulties to many factors including, for example, interference of the Arabic language of EFL university learners in learning and teaching process, EFL learners’ lack of motivation to develop their English oral communication skill, absence of speaking English courses at primary and high secondary school levels, in addition to that the learners lack the necessary vocabulary items and sentence formation skills that enable them to communicate in English. Finally, the paper recommends that EFL university instructors should try other different strategies for developing EFL learners’ oral communicative skills. In addition to that, they should build the learners’ self-confidence by creating a safe classroom environment, by giving learners more chances to speak in English on different situations and by using fun assignments and interesting topics regarding their age, gender, and context. Moreover, EFL learners should be encouraged to read more and more to get high quantity of vocabulary and be involved in intensive oral practice by encouraging them to have an English conversation club that consists of their own classmates.
Prosody Teaching Matters in Developing Speaking Skills for Farsi-English Interpreter Trainees: An Experimental Study (Published)
The present study investigates the effect of explicit teaching of prosody on developing speaking skills for Farsi-English interpreter trainees. Two groups of student interpreters were formed. All were native speakers of Farsi who studied English translation and interpreting at the BA level at Tafresh University, Iran. Participants were assigned to groups at random, but with equal division between genders (6 female and 6 male students in each group). No significant differences in English language skills (TOEFL scores) could be established between the groups. Participants took a pretest before starting the program. The control group listened to authentic audio tracks in English and had discussion about the issues in them, watched the authentic English movies, discussed about the issues in the movie and had discussion on proposed hot issues in pairs in the classroom, while the experimental group spent part of the time on theoretical explanation of, and practical exercises with, prosodic features of English. The total instruction time was the same for both groups, i.e. 21 hours. Students then took a posttest in speaking skills. The results show that the prosodic feature awareness training significantly improved the students’ speaking skills. These results have pedagogical implications for curriculum designers, interpreting programs for training future interpreters, material producers and all who are involved in language study and pedagogy.