The impact of strategy -Based instruction on EFL University student speaking proficiecy, strategy Use, Self-Confidence and motivation tospeak English: The Case of Mouloud Mamerri and M'hamed Bougara Universities , Algeria
Universite Mouloud MAMMERI
Speaking is one of the four macro skills to be developed for successful communication. In foreign language contexts, both environmental and cognitive factors make it challenging for students of English as a foreign language (EFL) to develop this skill (De Bot, 1992; Kouraogo, 1993), which makes teachers’ design of an effective instructional program a crucial task. Accordingly, learner strategies deserve more attention in such settings where speaking development fostered by natural exposure to different communicative events remains very limited. The present study was carried out to examine the impact that a learner strategy instructional program and its corresponding strategy website can have on Algerian EFL students’ speaking proficiency. It also aimed at finding out whether such training could influence positively their actual use of the strategies and increase their self-confidence and motivation to speak English as a foreign language. To these ends, a quasi experimental research was conducted with 120 freshman students both at Mouloud Mammeri and M’hamed Bougara universities in Algeria. Four intact groups of students were divided into a control (n=60) and an experimental (n=60) group. This longitudinal study was carried out in three stages: The first phase of the research was the pre-training one. It aimed at assessing students’ speaking performance, their current patterns of strategy use when performing the speaking tasks as well as their perceived self-confidence and motivation to speak English. The second phase of the research was the training itself. Both groups (experimental and control) enrolled on a sixteen-session speaking course over a period of sixteen weeks. However, unlike the control group, the experimental group followed a classroom-based program that included strategies for using and learning English as a foreign language. The students were also introduced to a speaking strategy website designed by the researcher. The effects of the training were assessed in the third phase of the experimentation by means of four quantitative data collection tools and one qualitative research instrument. These include the participants’ post course speaking tests scores, their corresponding strategies checklists, and a self-confidence and motivation questionnaire. The post-training phase also comprised a website strategy tracking form and a retrospective interview for the experimental group students. To analyze the data, a two-level analysis, which consists of a between-groups comparison (control and experimental groups) and a within-group comparison (pre and post-test results), was conducted. The research findings partly confirm the facilitative role of the strategy training program on students’ speaking proficiency. First, it was found that the experimental group students significantly outperformed the control group counterparts in the description task but not in the conversation task. However, when looking at the within-groups comparison results, the experimental group students’ improvement was slightly higher than the control group one. Adding to that, there were considerable differences in the use of different strategies in favor of the treatment group. As regards the impact of the strategy instruction on the students’ perceived self-confidence and motivation to speak English, the program was only a lukewarm success and much work remains to be done to find ways of enhancing learners’ self-confidence to speak English.
421[. ; 30CM + CD Rom
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