The Effect of Task Based Language Teaching on Students' WTC and Speaking Ability through Paired-Work vs. Cooperative Instructions

Document Type : Original Article

Author

English Language Department, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

This study concerned with the effect of cooperative and paired-work task-based instructions on EFL learners’ speaking ability and willingness to communicate. To this end, sixty male intermediate learners in a language school participated in the experimental study for 12 sessions. The participants were assigned to cooperative group (N=30) and paired-work group (N=30). After making sure about the homogeneity of the two groups, WTC questionnaire and the PET speaking test were administered to both groups as a pretest. The instructions used in this study were all adapted from Task-based Language Teaching. At the end of the experiment, the same WTC questionnaire and the PET speaking test were again administered as the posttest. Then the researcher compared the results of pre-test and post-test scores to see whether the application of the tasks had affected the learners’ WTC and speaking ability. According to the statistical mean scores gained from pre and post test scores, it was found that not only cooperative and paired-work task-based instructions could both enhance the learners' speaking ability, but also their willingness to communicate was increased. Also, independent samples t-test revealed that cooperative task-based instruction is more effective than paired-work task-based instruction on enhancing Iranian EFL learners' willingness to communicate. Teacher and syllabus designers may benefit from the findings of this study. Teachers can develop group works to remove the learners' reluctance to participate in the speaking activities and syllabus designers can also focus on more motivational communicative tasks to enhance the pupils' chance of participation.

Keywords