Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Spoken Skills, Communication Apprehension and Collaborative Learning/COMPÉTENCES ORALES, APPRÉHENSION DE COMMUNICATION ET APPRENTISSAGE EN COLLABORATION

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Spoken Skills, Communication Apprehension and Collaborative Learning/COMPÉTENCES ORALES, APPRÉHENSION DE COMMUNICATION ET APPRENTISSAGE EN COLLABORATION

Article excerpt

Abstract:

The study examines the usage of collaborative learning on second language learners' spoken skills and whether it reduces learners' communication apprehension. Two groups of UiTM Perlis diploma students were divided into control and experimental groups. The experimental group was given a one-month treatment of collaborative activities. Pre-test and post-test were conducted to both groups using UiTM Speaking test format. Personal Apprehension (PRCA -24) questionnaire was also administered to both groups during the pre-test and post-test to check their level of communication apprehension. The results of the study show that there was an improvement in experimental group's spoken skills and a considerable reduction in participants' level of communicative apprehension after the treatment. The outcome of the study able to develop further understanding of what is involved in collaborative learning and works as an eye-opener to the possibilities of improving students' spoken skills via collaborative activities.

Key words: Spoken skills; Collaborative learning; Communicative apprehension; Second language learners

Résumé: L'étude examine les effets de l'apprentissage en collaboration sur les compétences orales des apprenants d'une deuxième langue et s'il réduit les appréhensions de communication des apprenants. Deux groupes d'étudiants au diplôme de I1UiTM Perlis ont été divisés en groupes de contrôle et d'expérimentation. Le groupe expérimental a eu des activités de collaboration pendant un mois. Le pré-test et le post-test ont été réalisés par les deux groupes en utilisant le format de test oral de ITJiTM. Le questionnaire de l'appréhension personnelle (PRCA -24) a également été donné aux deux groupes au cours du pré-test et du post-test afin de vérifier leur niveau de l'appréhension de communication. Les résultats de l'étude montrent qu'il y a eu une amélioration de compétences orales dans le groupe expérimental et une réduction considérable du niveau de l'appréhension de communication des participants après le traitement. Les résultats de l'étude sont en mesure de développer une meilleure compréhension de ce qui est impliqué dans l'apprentissage en collaboration et fonctionne comme un révélateur des possibilités d'améliorer les compétences orales des élèves via les activités de collaboration.

Mots-Clés: compétences orales; apprentissage en collaboration; appréhension de communication; apprenants d'une deuxième langue

1. INTRODUCTION

When a student is asked to write an essay of 200 words in length, he/she could easily come up with one that is longer. However, when the student is asked to speak for two to three minutes on a topic in a group discussion or in front of the class, he/she may face some difficulties in expressing his/her opinions. The student may feel anxious to express his/her views verbally in contrast to writing an essay whereby he/she can eloquently express his/her views on an assigned topic. Some students' apprehension towards speaking activities in class may pose a problem for them as some course assessments require them to verbally express their opinions as for example in the MUET (Malaysian University English Test) speaking examination and a course in public speaking.

McCroskey (1977) as cited in Holbrook (1987) defines communication apprehension (CA) as "an individual level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons." The causes of the apprehension may stem from situational settings (for example, public speaking) and the individual's personality traits (shyness, quietness and reticence).

Thus, a classroom that poses less threat to students should be created in order to alleviate the students' anxiety towards speaking. Some of the collaborative activities in the classroom are aimed at getting the students to be more participative in a group discussion and making them less anxious in expressing their point of views. …

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