Drama as a Training Aid to Enhancing Underachievers' Achievement in the EFL Public Speaking Context

By Yow-jyy Joyce Lee.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 18, 2015 $US5.00

This research examines whether college students’ English self-perceived public speaking competence (SPPSC) is empowered by English theatrical performances as a training aid out of the school context. One class with 49 EFL majors as the experimental group and the other class with 36 EFL majors as the control group reported their self-perceptions of English public speaking competence (PSC) after the experimental group performed two 60-minute English theatrical performances to children audiences in the community. A research instrument was developed by the researcher and administered as pretest, first posttest, and second posttest to both groups. The study presented relevant evidence and found that after the first English theatrical performance, the participating students having lower pretest SPPSC perceived more significant improvement than those who had higher pretest SPPSC. After the second English theatrical performance, the participating students having lower pretest SPPSC continued to make more significant improvement than those who had higher pretest SPPSC. The outcomes indicate that the two theatrical performances continuously benefit the SPPSC of those who are speech underachievers in the beginning of the course. The findings deserve attentions from education policy planners. The theatrical project in this study has potential not only to help low-achieving college EFL students enhance their SPPSC, but also to help instructors develop students’ English communication competence in employability. This research shed new light on a relatively unexplored aspect on teaching English public speaking (PS) at technological universities with incorporation of English theatrical performances into the curriculum design in Taiwan.

Keywords: Communication Competence, Public Speaking (PS), Self-perceived Public Speaking Competence (SPPSC), Theatrical Performance

The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.25-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 18, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 813.736KB)).

Dr. Yow-jyy Joyce Lee

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied English, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung City, Taiwan