The Influence of Topic Management on the Speaking Ability of Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners

Sepideh Shiri, Hassan Abdilah


In English as a Foreign Language (EFL) settings where English is not the spoken language, Topic Management has been recognised as one of the factors that influence the speaking ability of learners (Du-Babcock, 1999). In Iran, many intermediate EFL learners find it very difficult to manage the speech aspect of the English language. The present study examines the influence of Topic Management on the speaking ability of Iranian intermediate EFL learners. It provides useful insights on teaching speaking skills through Topic Management to improve the speaking ability of learners. In this study, quasi-experimental design was used. 40 intermediate learners were selected and divided into two groups, the Control Group and the Experimental Group. Three tests were administered to obtain data from the participants. These were a proficiency test to check the English proficiency level of the participants, a speaking pre-test to check their speaking ability before the treatment, and a speaking post-test to check their speaking ability after the treatment. The results indicate that Topic Management has an influence on the speaking ability of Iranian EFL learners. That is, the more the student is confident in managing the topic the more he/she is able to sustain the conversation. The study concludes that Topic Management can be a facilitative approach to improving Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ speaking ability.


Topic Management, EFL Learners, Speaking Ability, TOEFL

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