Speaking Apprehension: Evidence from Oral Presentations in Content Subject Classes

Authors

  • Hazila Kadir@Shahar Universiti Tun Hussein Onn
  • Abdul Halim Abdul Raof Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15282/ijleal.v10.5683

Keywords:

Anxiety-related problems, Content subject classes, Oral presentations, Speaking apprehension

Abstract

Oral presentation has become a crucial task at the tertiary level regardless of the discipline of study. The engineering, science or management disciplines are no exception as delivering an oral presentation in a content subject class is a common sight nowadays, be it individual or group presentations. However, many students face difficulties when carrying out this task as they experience speaking apprehension. This study investigated anxiety-related problems experienced by engineering students in delivering oral presentations in English in their content subject classes. A total of 125 undergraduate students from a public university participated in the study. They were given a set of questionnaire to find out anxiety-related problems they faced when giving oral presentations. Based on responses gathered, 15 students who claimed to have experienced a high level of anxiety were identified. Consent was sought from these students and their lecturers to observe them doing an actual oral presentation in one of their content subject classes. Observation sessions were carried out to see any clear evidence of anxiety symptom occurrences. This was followed up by a semi-structured interview with the 15 students. Findings revealed that anxiety was evident among the students observed. Several factors were identified which include the type of presentation done, the language used and lack or last-minute preparation. The symptoms observed fall under the categories of bodily, expressive, verbal and emotional reactions. This study has brought about a number of implications concerning content subject curriculum, English language teaching, and soft skills trainingOral presentation has become a crucial task at the tertiary level regardless of the discipline of study. The engineering, science or management disciplines are no exception as delivering an oral presentation in a content subject class is a common sight nowadays, be it individual or group presentations. However, many students face difficulties when carrying out this task as they experience speaking apprehension. This study investigated anxiety-related problems experienced by engineering students in delivering oral presentations in English in their content subject classes. A total of 125 undergraduate students from a public university participated in the study. They were given a set of questionnaire to find out anxiety-related problems they faced when giving oral presentations. Based on responses gathered, 15 students who claimed to have experienced a high level of anxiety were identified. Consent was sought from these students and their lecturers to observe them doing an actual oral presentation in one of their content subject classes. Observation sessions were carried out to see any clear evidence of anxiety symptom occurrences. This was followed up by a semi-structured interview with the 15 students. Findings revealed that anxiety was evident among the students observed. Several factors were identified which include the type of presentation done, the language used and lack or last-minute preparation. The symptoms observed fall under the categories of bodily, expressive, verbal and emotional reactions. This study has brought about a number of implications concerning content subject curriculum, English language teaching, and soft skills training.

Published

2021-01-30

Issue

Section

Research Articles