The Use of Games to Foster Fluency among ESL Learners

  •  Aylar Vazirabad    


This study focused on five particular Communication Strategies (CSs) namely: Paraphrase, approximation, hesitation, reduction, borrowed words and invented, or anglicised. The aim was to investigate the link between the use of approvable and positive CS-types and the impact of ESL students’ beliefs about CSs in a game-activity. It aims to promote students fluency based on positive CSs. The study used a series of videoed and transcribed task-observations based on ‘Spot the Differences’ information-gap activities. In addition, the views and beliefs of 6 teachers and 6 students were sampled using structured interviews. The results interestingly revealed that hesitation was one of the most approved and positive strategies. The teacher interviews revealed that the more experienced teachers focused attention on fluency and helping student to 'keep going', and using all types of CSs while less experienced tutors focused attention on both fluency and vocabulary learning in communication tasks. Less experienced teachers also uttered that hesitation and reduction strategies should not to be encouraged and it is better that teacher tell the word if student needs it or paraphrase them. The observation also highlighted that there is a relation between the teacher's inner beliefs and the student's fluency level. Data from the videoed observations revealed that body language was an important element in communicating meaning. The results also revealed what strategies these teachers encourage students to use in a communication activity. That are mostly avoided because of their misconception about a communication activity. Analysis of CSs also showed the link between teacher and students beliefs about approvable CSs and their level of achieved fluency.

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