The Effect of problem-Solving Tasks on the Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Speaking Skill

Yousef Bakhshizsdeh, Banafsheh Alaie


 Speaking has been the main point of interest for many researchers because it is the foremost important skill by which learners are judged. Since speaking is learned through instruction, it has always needed an appropriate method of teaching. The present study made an attempt to investigate the effect of utilizing problem-solving tasks as an approach to teaching and learning the second language on the improvement of speaking skill. In this experimental research, two intact groups of 21intermediate EFL learners in English language institute were involved. The participants were given a TOEFL (PBT) general proficiency test to ensure their level as intermediate at the outset. Two groups were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups and then, an FCE pre-test of speaking skill was administered to both groups to ensure their homogeneity prior to treatment. Consequently, two groups were instructed for 18 sessions (two months) with different approaches. The control group was taught using the audio-lingual method of teaching and the experimental group was taught using problem-solving tasks. Finally, a post-test of speaking was administered to both groups to assess their speaking ability at the end of research. To compare the participants’ speaking ability in the experimental and control groups an independent-samples t-test was conducted. The data analysis showed that the experimental group outperformed on improving their speaking skills post-test compared to the control group. The results showed that utilization of problem-solving tasks has a significant effect on improvement of learners' speaking proficiency.





speaking proficiency, problem-solving tasks, proficiency

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