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Impact of Listening and Reading Skills Transfer on the Speaking Accuracy, Fluency,and Complexity of EFL Learners

Hadi Sobhanifar , and Fatemeh Ranjbaran*

English Language Department, University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Muscat,Sultanate of Oman



Introduction: Over the past decades, enhancing learners’ speaking ability has been a major challenge for teachers and educators of English as a foreign language (EFL). Therefore, the current study aimed to see if reading and listening can boost students’ speaking ability in the process of skills transfer.Methodology: Toexplore the impact of reading and listening skills transfer on enhancing speaking accuracy, fluency, and complexity, two groups of EFL learners underwent a four-month intervention in which the effects of reading and listening skills on speaking ability were evaluated. One group was exposed to text, and the other group received audio input. Both groups gave summaries after working on different textual and audio tasks. After four months of treatment, both classes took a posttest.Results: The results showed that reading and listening, as a medium of input, boosted the speaking ability of learners. However, the class receiving listening input enjoyed a higher mean value in accuracy, fluency, and complexity and outperformed the class exposed to reading input.Conclusion: This study highlights the role of skills transfer theory while providing evidence for educators and practitioners to incorporate integrated skills practice when designing EFL courses.

1. Introduction:

In the history of language teaching and learning, issues concerning the speaking ability of language learners have been of crucial significance. Scholars have extensively investigated how the mechanism of speaking functions and how to identify the problems language learnersface while developing their oral skills (Ahmadian & Tavakoli, 2010; Kizi, 2023; Sample & Michel, 2014; Suzuki, 2021). Even though many researchers and practitioners have put forth suggestions on how to facilitate the process of developing speaking skills and overcome obstacles in improving students speaking ability (Bei, 2013; Fukuta, 2016; Tabatabaei, 2012), the effect of skill transfer on enhancing speaking ability still warrant further investigation.A number of hypotheses have been proposed by scholars, such as Krashen’s comprehensible input theory (1982), that accounts for enabling learners to acquire L2. Although Krashen was,to some extent successful, it was Swain’s comprehensible output hypothesis (1985) that supplemented Krashen’s view and introduced a comprehensive theory regarding the use of input and the development of learners’ speaking ability (Russell, 2014). The importance of English as the main lingua franca and the medium for the worldwide spread of information and knowledge has made communicative competence and the ability to use English to access social, vocational, educational, or professional opportunities one of the most vital objectives of English learning and teaching programs. In this regard, Davies and Pearse (2000) believed that real success in English is when the learners can communicate in English inside and outside the classroom.

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