e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 21 (4) Dec. 2013 / JSSH-0747-2012


One Semester of Speaking Tasks - An Experimental Approach with Low Proficiency Students

Andrew N. Williams and Yah Awg Nik

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 21, Issue 4, December 2013

Keywords: English, Malaysian undergraduates, low proficiency, speaking tasks

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This study tested the hypothesis postulating that Malaysian undergraduate students with low proficiency would make the most rapid progress in English if all guided learning time (tutorials and lectures) in the first semester was used entirely for speaking tasks. The study took the form of a Non-Equivalent Groups design with 59 Malaysian undergraduate students in their first semester, the majority of whom had scored only Band 1 or Band 2 in the MUET exam. The students were allocated alphabetically to an experimental group of 30 students, who were taught using all of the contact hours for speaking tasks and a control group of 29 students who were taught using "as normal" method - including grammar explanation and examples; reading; writing and listening tasks. All students took a pre-test at the start of the semester and a post-test at the end of the semester, which assessed their abilities in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Since, scores did not conform to a normal distribution so the Wilcoxon Sigma rank test was used to assess the difference in the scores between the pre-test and post-test, while the ManWhitney test was used to compare the changes in the scores between the experimental and control groups. The analysis showed no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group, in terms of the changes in the scores between pre-test and post-test.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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