EFL Learners Perceptions of and Attitudes Toward the Use of Reader Theater for Improving Oral Skills in an Esp Course

Abstract

In today's global world, English speaking skills are important for international contexts. For EFL learners, good oral English skills require constant practice to achieve oral fluency, good pronunciation, and good intonation. Nowadays, communicative language teaching (CLT) is prevalent as many language instructors adopt a CLT curriculum design. However, unmotivated or underachieving EFL learners are often incapable of engaging in CLT activities, such as information gaps and role playing, which require extensive preparation for them. They also appear anxious when they speak in front of others. Reader Theater (RT) has been widely used in the literature and reading classes due to its benefits, such as promoting oral reading fluency (Carrick, 2000; Millin, 1996), as demonstrated in existing research (Busching, 1981; Coody, 1992; Flood, Lapp, Flood, & Nagel, 1992; Harris & Sipay, 1990; Sebesta, 1997; Trousdale & Harris, 1993). Thus, the current study applied RT in an ESP course for oral skill training in order to explore learners attitudes toward and perceptions of RT in this ESP course as well as its potential benefits for learners in oral practice. A survey was analyzed using descriptive statistics to investigate how students perceive RT in terms of their attitude, confidence, motivation, oral fluency, and accuracy. The findings showed that RT had a positive effect on oral skill training in general. Most of the students agreed that RT had a positive effect on their confidence and motivation for the course. The results offer pedagogical suggestions for future course design.



Author Information
Nai-Ying Chang, Hsiu-Ping University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Hao-Yuan Cheng, Tzu-Chi College of Technology, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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