The Usefulness of Pictorial Aids in Developing Female Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Speaking Proficiency

Shahram Afraz, Leila Taghizade, Ali Taghinezhad


Speaking is a crucial form of communication in language learning settings. Through speaking skill, ESL/EFL language learners can communicate and convey information. Pictorial aids have been deployed as efficacious mediatory tools in teaching various disciplines such as language teaching. Still, to the best of the researchers’ knowledge, a direct look at the impacts of pictorial aids on EFL intermediate learners’ speaking proficiency has been less addressed. Thus, the main concern of the present study was to investigate the role of pictorial aids in creating a favorable ground for teaching speaking and how it may affect learners’ speaking proficiency. To this end, 40 intermediate EFL learners were selected out of 70 from a private English language institute in Shiraz, Iran. The homogeneity of their proficiency level was established via the administration of Oxford Proficiency Test. Then they were randomly divided into two control and experimental groups. Three instruments were used to answer the research questions: Pre-test and post-test interviews, classroom observation, and a questionnaire. Subsequently, the participants were randomly assigned to an experimental (n=20) and a control (n=20) group. During 6 sessions, the experimental group received treatment while using pictorial aids. By contrast, the control group followed their routine instruction at the institution through traditional method, i.e. the tasks of Top notch 2. Then by the end of the study, an interview was held as a post test in order to monitor any effect the treatment might have on increasing speaking proficiency of the participants under the investigation. The results gained from a post-test were analyzed via t-test indicated that visual aids had a positive impact on the intermediate learners’ speaking proficiency in which experimental group outperformed control group. 


pictorial aids, young learners, EFL speaking proficiency

Full Text:



Allen, K., & Marquez, A. (2011). Teaching vocabulary with visual aids. Journal of Kao Ying Industrial & Commercial Vocational High School, 1(9), 1-5.

Allou, A. (2013). The effect of audiovisual aids in teaching speaking skill among EFL learners a case study: Second year students of English at Biskra University. Biskra: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Mohammed Kheider University of Biskra Faculty of Letters and Languages English Division.

Andrade, E. L. M., Mercado, C. A. A., & Reynoso, J. M. G. (2008). Learning data structures using multimedia-interactive systems. Communications of the IIMA, 8(3), 25-32

Ascher, A., & Saslow, J. (2011). Top notch series. Longman: Pearson Education.

Burns, A. & Goh, C. M. (2012). Teaching speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, A. D. (1990). Language learning: Insights for learners, teachers, and researchers. New York: Prentice Hall.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000). Naturalistic and ethnographic research. Research methods in education, 5, 137-157.

Denscombe, M. (2010). The good research guide: For small-scale social research projects (Open UP Study Skills). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.

Dornyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

El-Koumy, A. (2002). Teaching and learning English as a foreign language: A comprehensive approach. Dar an-nashr for universities: Cairo, Egypt.

Gammidge, M. (2004). Speaking extra. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

Ginther, A. (2002). Context and content visuals and performance on listening comprehension stimuli. Language Testing, 19(2), 133-167.

Grognet, A. G. (1997). Definition of speaking skill. Providence: Jamestown publisher.

Harmer, J. (2005). The practice of English language teaching. London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Honey, M., & Moeller, B. (1990). Teachers’ beliefs and technology integration: Different values, different understandings. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED326203)

Idris, A. O. (2015). The effect of Audio-visual materials in teaching and learning of speaking of skills in junior secondary schools in Katsina State Nigeria. International journal of social science and humanities research 3 (3), 50-58.

Jakubowski, A. (2013). Using visual aids in the secondary language classroom: an action research study on the use of illustrations during TPRS instruction. The University of Toledo Publications: Toledo

Koumy, E., & Salam, A. (2002). Teaching and learning English as a foreign language: A comprehensive approach. Dar An-Nashr for Universities, Cairo, Egypt.

McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (2003). Materials and methods in ELT. Oxford: Blackwell.

Moeller, B., & Reitzes, T. (2011). Integrating Technology with Student-Centered Learning. A Report to the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Education Development Center, Inc.

Neeraja, K. P. (2011). Textbook of communication and education technology for nurses. JP Medical Ltd.

Oxford Learner's pocket dictionary. (2009). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Palmer, H.E. (1965). The principles of language study. London: Harrap.

Pawlak, M., Waniek-Klimczak, E., & Majer, J. (Eds.). (2011). Speaking and instructed foreign language acquisition. Multilingual Matters.

Richards, J. C. (2008). Teaching listening and speaking: From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

Richards, J. C., & Renandya, W. A. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge university press.

Shamsi, M., & Rahimy, R. (2017). The Impact of L2 semantic tasks (L2 collocation versus L2 definition) on Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary achievement. International Journal of Research in English Education, 2(1), 58-67.

Tarone, E. (2005). Speaking in a second language: Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Tarigan, G. (1990). Berbicara sebagai suatu ketrampilanBerbahasa. Bandung: Angkasa.

Thornbury, S. (2005). How to teach speaking. Pearson: Longman

Wongsuwana, T. (2006). Speech could be trained. Thailand Education Journal, 21, 44-50.

Xiaoning, W. (2007). On the use of video clips in college English teaching. Canadian Social Science, 3(2), 84-96.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.