This study explores approaches to improving the spoken English skills of students at a private university in Indonesia, where many students still encounter difficulties in spoken English. It proceeded in two stages. The first stage used action research to investigate ways of improving students‘ confidence in speaking English. Based on questionnaires, interviews, student feedback, class observations and a teacher‘s journal, it found that teaching methodology which focused on students‘ involvement using pairs and small group work gradually improved their confidence in speaking English. This suggested the second stage of the study, which used quasi-experimental research to explore the use of cooperative learning as a means of improving students‘ spoken English skills, as compared to control groups using a more traditional approach. Data were gathered through speaking and listening tests, questionnaires, interviews, student feedback, and class observations. The qualitative data showed that both teachers and students believed that cooperative learning can be useful for improving students‘ spoken English skills. This was supported by a result from the quantitative data which showed significant improvements in students‘ speaking duration if not in their speaking quality. A limitation of the study was that the time frame did not allow the teachers to implement the cooperative learning techniques well. Even so, the findings of this study point to a positive role for group work and cooperative learning in language education, in particular for conversational English classes in Indonesia in the future.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Paul Black (Supervisor)|