Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Ielts Speaking Corpus (Isc) on Iranian Efl Learners' Speaking Ability across Gender

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Ielts Speaking Corpus (Isc) on Iranian Efl Learners' Speaking Ability across Gender

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The capacity to speak is an amazing ability that allows people in different physical locations and eras to communicate ideas, grand and mundane, to one another. Yet, on a day-to-day level, most people do not normally think of the speaking ability as being any kind of extraordinary activity. But all proficient language users have implicit knowledge about register, word meaning and grammatical and lexical patterns. We often find it hard to explicate all that we intuitively know about language, however, and in any case we cannot always rely upon what we think we know. If this were not the case we would not be able to speak and write with any fluency.

According to (Kayi, 2011), speaking is the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts. Speaking is a crucial part of second language learning and teaching. Identifying and analyzing working mechanisms that influence fluency then should be regarded significant for our understanding of the complexities of speaking. It is probably one of the most important qualities of speech which greatly contributes to examiners' intuitive understanding of proficiency and technical assessment of learners' oral performance.

Speaking in the foreign language has always been considered as the most applicable skill to develop in the learners of the target language compared to such other skills as listening, reading, and writing. This is in part due to the fact that it is more than simply knowing the linguistic components of the language. In practice, however, many learners feel frustrated as they find that speaking in a foreign language is a complex matter. It is because speaking involves many factors. The ability to speak fluently presupposes not only knowledge of language features, but also the ability to process information and language on the spot (Harmer, 2001).

This study, aims to investigate the effect of using IELTS Speaking Corpus (ISC) on Iranian EFL Learner' Speaking Ability across Gender.

2. Review of Related Literature

Chastain (1988, p. 270) maintains that speaking a language involves more than simply knowing the linguistic components of the message, and developing language skills requires more than grammatical comprehension and vocabulary memorization. Teachers and students come to language classes with conscious or subconscious attitudes, expectations, interests, and needs. These are especially germane to establishing course objectives for speaking, which has tended to receive the greatest attention and emphasis in recent years and for which achievement has tended to be the most disappointing, perhaps because expectations have been elevated beyond realistic levels.

Learning English is often related to learning how to speak the language. As Ur states of all the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), speaking seems intuitively the most important. People who know a language are referred to as speaker of that language, as if speaking included all other kinds of knowing; and many if not most foreign language learners are primarily interested in learning to speak (Ur, 1996).

Burumfit (1984) writes about language activities designed to foster accuracy and those designed to foster fluency. When applied to language tasks these do necessarily have to be seen as ?opposite' but can be complementary, depending on the actual aims and purpose of the speaking skills class in question. Within the percommunicative framework it is evident that the speaking skills were accuracy-focused to a large extent. Within the more communicative framework, however, the emphasis is far more open-ended with the whole target language being a potential vehicle for communication and not just a restricted object of study: hence activities are designed to develop fluency in the learner.

Nunan (1999) suggests that teachers need to be aware that motivation is a consideration in determining whether or not learners are willing to communicate. …

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