Investigating affective factors and skill strategies of university students in english language oral examinations

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Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
"Learning a foreign language, most of the time, occurs in an instructional setting where the language is taught to a group of foreign language learners (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). In this setting, sometimes language teachers concentrate on usage rather than on use (ibid). As a result, oral evaluation seems difficult to be carried out under the use perspective. However, testing the oral ability is important during the learning process of a foreign language. According to Hughes (1989, p. 101) “the objective of teaching spoken language is the development of the ability to interact successfully in that language, and that this involves comprehension as well as production”. This is one of the main goals of foreign language learning, learners interacting and communicating in that new language. However, when learners have the opportunity to practice and be evaluated in the oral skill, they could face different kinds of experiences such as nervousness, stress, stage fright, and so on. A way to know about those experiences is giving them the opportunity to reflect about their performances. This paper will analyze students’ reflections about their experiences in the oral language test; those reflections will be carried out after their performances. Moreover, this study will attempt to identify what kind of strategies these students make use of in their presentations. Dewey (1993, cited in Hatton and Smith, 1995) states that reflecting is a way to analyze and face issues to find possible solutions. In fact, when people have the opportunity to reflect, they could discover moments of joy, concern and success in their lives. The orientation of this project is a case study since it will only explore bounded system over time through detailed examination of the case (Clandinin & Connely, 2000). This orientation will allow the researcher to focus on the participants’ experiences after their oral presentation. The data collection procedure will be through narrative texts which will be written by the study subjects, university students."
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