International Journal of English Language Teaching (IJELT)

EA Journals

Foreign Language

Oracy Skills Instruction: Evaluating, Adapting and Creating Listening and Speaking Activities (Published)

The objective of this paper is to evaluate, modify and formulate activities related to the development of ‘oracy’ skills in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom. In this context, ‘oracy’, as defined by Sifakis (2004/2018), specifically encompasses the skills of listening and speaking. Spoken discourse is differentiated from written in that it requires real-time interaction, presenting a notable challenge for the learners. (McDonough et. al., 2013). It is apparent that oracy skills play a crucial role in the overall development of students’ language proficiency as they emphasize their ability to engage effectively in real-life communication situations. In the course of evaluating materials, the paper will utilize relevant literature and employ sets of criteria, tailored to the communicative requirements of spoken interaction. Subsequently, adjustments to existing activities and the creation of original ones will be proposed in line with the theoretical framework. To facilitate this process, the paper will draw on materials deriving from two teaching textbooks and examine two distinct teaching contexts, each aligned with one of the aforementioned language skills; listening and speaking.

Keywords: English Language, Foreign Language, Listening, Speaking, oracy skills

Evaluating Listening and Speaking Activities (Published)

This paper comprises two merged assignments that reflect upon teaching practices and methods regarding the skills of listening and speaking. In the first comprehensive analysis, the focus is on a listening input designed for young learners in a language education context. The assignment focuses on the listening skill, and it provides a comprehensive overview of the teaching context, the listening input, and related activities, offering insights into the effectiveness of the instructional approach and proposing enhancements for a more engaging and inclusive learning experience. Also, the listening input and the listening activities are evaluated based on certain criteria as well as the students’ level of proficiency. The second assignment aims to critically evaluate a coursebook’s speaking activities and design a new lesson focused on specific criteria for developing the speaking skill. The evaluation scrutinizes the coursebook’s communicative competence, linguistic, strategic, semantic, and sociolinguistic aspects, examining activities based on Nation’s features and Johnson’s principles. Furthermore, it delves into the design and detailed evaluation of a lesson plan, encompassing pre, while, and post-stages, developed to enhance students’ speaking skills. Overall, both assignments underscore the significance of considering diverse criteria in the design of speaking and listening activities and the continuous refinement of instructional approaches.

Keywords: EFL, Evaluation, Foreign Language, Language, Listening, Speaking

Aspects of English grammar to be reinforced in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language (Published)

This paper unravels aspects of English grammar to be reinforced in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. The data sources for the study are the following: the broad corpus which consists of 392 BEPC exam essays (2014 and 2015), 46 class test essays (15 in 2016, 15 in 2017 and 16 in 2018) and the narrow corpus which consists of a series of ten (10) designed tests altogether intended for 100 Troisieme class pupils (administered in 2019). The framework used for this study is the Communicative Effect Taxonomy in error analysis as developed by Hendrickson (1976). Findings revealed that Troisieme pupils’ English is strewn with global errors, local errors and ambiguous errors. Actually, 20 global error types (including the choice of the wrong auxiliary), 14 local error types (including the V-ed form attached to irregular verbs) and 9 types of ambiguous errors (including the use of the preposition ‘at’ in place of ‘about’) were identified in the broad corpus and highlighted in the narrow corpus. By doing so, Troisieme pupils’ communicative proficiency as well as their linguistic proficiency was found to be low, and their communicative proficiency was found to be lower than their linguistic proficiency. From the above aspects of English grammar to be reinforced in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language were unveiled. The essence of it all is to improve communicative and linguistic proficiency in English.

Keywords: Aspects of English grammar; communicative and linguistic proficiency; global, English as a second, Foreign Language, ambiguous errors; error analysis, local, the teaching of English

An Evaluation of EFL Students’ Attitudes toward English Language Learning In Terms of Several Variables (Published)

The present study sheds light on the attitudes of Al-Balqa Applied University students towards learning English as a foreign language. The study also investigated the effect of  the learners’ gender and field of study on the attitudes they hold. The random sample of 176 students consisted of 68 (38.6%) males and 108 (61.4%) females. 67 (38.1%) of the respondents were majoring in the scientific faculties, and 109 (61.9%) were enrolled in the different faculties of humanities. The descriptive and inferential statistics revealed that the sample students held positive attitudes towards learning English. Gender was found to be an effective variable since females proved to be more positive in their attitudes. No differences were assigned to the students’ academic field of study.

Keywords: English, Field of study, Foreign Language, Gender, attitude

Impediments to Integrating Language Skills in Young Learners’ EFL Classes: Whys and a Way Out via Mini-Sagas (Published)

It is deeply believed that integrating language skills in English as a foreign language classes can contribute a great deal to the success of the teaching-learning process. But, such a pedagogical strategy at times poses a daunting challenge for a high percentage of non-native teachers, namely those teaching primary school sixth graders. In this setting, relying on a questionnaire that was administered to twenty primary school teachers teaching English to grade-six pupils, this paper aims at laying emphasis on exploring the reasons behind the difficulties those teachers encounter in integrating the four language skills in English as a foreign language classes. The results of the questionnaire have shown that there are a number of objective reasons that lie at the root of the issue, in particular the absence of training sessions, the nature of the syllabus, and the fact that English seems to be viewed and taught merely as a school subject of secondary importance. The paper, therefore, puts forward how those teachers can defy the impediments to using the integrated approach to teaching the language. Pedagogically speaking, it gives an insight into how teachers can get round the issue theoretically through mini-sagas and via a practical example lesson including explanatory notes. The study has revealed that sensitizing those teachers to the benefits of the integrative approach to teaching English, and using mini-sagas effectually as a starting point for the use of such an approach can help them get familiar with it through other diverse pedagogical procedures according to the learning activities intended to be performed and the learning objectives planned to be achieved, which can contribute to the success of the teaching-learning process.

Keywords: EFL Teachers, English, Foreign Language, Integrating Language Skills, Mini-Sagas, Sixth Graders

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