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

Shahram Afraz, Leila Taghizade, Ali Taghinezhad

Abstract


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. 


Keywords


pictorial aids, young learners, EFL speaking proficiency

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.6n.1p.38

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