Investigating Methods of Training for Developing Students' Skills for Academic Oral Work: Focus on Social Science Students -- Addis Ababa University

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Addis Ababa University


This study investigated methods of training second year students in the College of Social Sciences, Addis Ababa Uni versity, for academic oral work. The main objective of the investigation was how to help the students activate their already existing linguistic resources so that they could reduce their foreign language speech--related anxiety in order for them to build the contidence to improve the level of their oral performance in academic contexts. Teaching methods and techniques relevant to the development of oral competence were extracted from the literature on current foreign/second teaching. These were used as the basis for the design of new course materials for the study. The materials were taught to an experimental group of students which was contrasted with a control group. The effects of the new training on the students oral performance were examined through: (a) the trainees' reactions to the training, (b) two simulated academic oral presentations by experimental and control groups of students and (c) assessment of the confidence demonstrated by the two study groups at the end of the training. It was found that the training was positively evaluated by the trainees. The result of Oral Presentation I (pre-training) showed the two study groups were performing at the same level of oral intelligibility , while the resu lt of Oral Presentation 2 (post-training) indicated the experimental group was, on the whole, better in its oral intelligibility than the control group. The assessment of the confidence demonstrated by the study groups at the end of the training revea led there were more confident students in the experimental group than in the control group. Thus, it was concluded that the new training positively contributed to academically relevant, better oral performance by tbe trainees. This was not found to be true in the case of the control group of students who were not exposed to the same training. Based on this conclusion and other findings of the research, recommendations were made.



Investigating Methods of Training