Impact of Teaching Oral Communication Strategies to Engineering Students at a South-Western Nigerian University
Keywords:Communication taxonomy, Engineering students, Oral communication strategies, Speaking performance
This study sought to examine the impact of teaching oral communication strategies on a cohort of ESL learners studying at the engineering faculty of a university in Lagos State of Nigeria. A quasi-experimental design was adopted to identify the cause-and-effect relationship between the teaching of oral communication strategies and the participants’ use of those strategies. Hence, an English-speaking task was administered twice to a group of seven undergraduate engineering students who, through snowball sampling, were non-randomly chosen from the engineering faculty at the aforementioned university. In-between the two phases of the speaking task, a four-hour training session on the use of oral communication strategies was conducted. Data were then collected through the participants’ responses to the spoken task and were transcribed and coded according to Tarone’s communication taxonomy. Using an independent sample t-test to analyse the data, the findings revealed a statistically significant increase in the participants’ use of oral communication strategies after the training. This implies that teaching oral communication strategies is impactful in improving the participants’ English-speaking competence. The research is concluded with a recommendation for further studies with large samples for more generalisable findings. This research will inform language education policy makers of the need to heighten second language learners’ and teachers’ awareness of oral communication strategies use via their incorporation in the language curriculum.
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