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Investigating oral communication in EFL classrooms: a case study of a Higher Education Institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

AlQurashi, H. (2018) Investigating oral communication in EFL classrooms: a case study of a Higher Education Institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This study investigates the factors that affect oral communication in English as Foreign Language classrooms at City University in Saudi Arabia. The concept ‘oral communication’ in this study refers to the ability of learners to listen effectively and speak fluently using the correct use of language structure, that is, syntax, grammar and vocabulary, resulting in successful communication. The study investigated the nature of and reasons for the oral communication difficulties experienced in English as Foreign Language classrooms in the university. These issues were addressed in terms of teaching and learning with the aim of improving the learning experiences of students in English as Foreign Language courses at the university. This is a qualitative study. For data collection, I used a triangulation method. The data have been obtained through focus group discussions followed by individual interviews. The study included 33 participants: 30 students of English language, and three teachers from the department of English language. For my data analysis, I adopted a modified grounded theory approach of data analysis. The results of the analysis indicate that the factors that affect participants’ willingness to communicate are grouped under two main types: external and internal. Internal factors relate to the students themselves, i.e. their behaviours and nature, whereas the external factors are caused by something outside them. Internal factors include language proficiency, motivation, and culture and psychological factors including confidence and shyness. The external factors include classroom management (class time and students’ number), teacher’s role (opportunity, teaching aids and topic relevancy), and teaching methods. It also includes first language use and code-switching. The main purpose of this study is to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect oral communication in English as Foreign Language classrooms at the university and to contribute to increasing our understanding of students’ reticence to participate orally in English as Foreign Language classrooms. The results of this study are intended to help to provide teachers, decision makers and course designers at the university with knowledge about teaching oral communication skills in English as Foreign Language classrooms.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Rassool, N. and Croll, P.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:79993

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