Higher Education of Social Science
ISSN 1927-0232 [Print] ISSN 1927-0240 [Online] www.cscanada.net www.cscanada.org
An Empirical Study on Speaking Proficiency Training for Chinese EFL Learners
MA Ruixue1, *; MA Zejun2; WANG Yijing3
Lecturer, main research areas are EFL teaching, second language acquisition and intercultural communication. School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning, China * Corresponding author. 2, 3 School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning, China Supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Number: DUT11RW412&DUT10RW413) and Liaoning Social Science Fund (Number: L11DYY032). Received 26 October 2011; accepted 20 January 2012
In China, the rapidly developing economy leads to an increasing demand for talents well-equipped with not only professional skills but also proficient language skills. Since early the 21st century profound and nation-wide reforms have been undertaken in English teaching, for instance, with expansion of English language education into the primary curriculum (Zhao, 2008). In spite of having obtained longer period of language training, yet the learners’ performance is not satisfactory, especially in speaking. In job interviews given by foreign companies, they are too nervous to make a brief self-introduction. Most Chinese overseas students find language is the biggest obstacle that prevents them from getting used to the new environment.
Improving students’ speaking proficiency has always been a challenge for Chinese EFL teachers. With the traditional training mode students had low motivation to speak, insufficient exposure to authentic language input, inadequate teachers’ instruction on social strategies and no collaborative learning environment to find a partner to practice English with. Aiming at solving the abovementioned problems of traditional training mode, the research proposes a multi-dimensional training mode with DV as its media, task as its center, cooperative learning as its form, campus English native speakers as its resources, textbooks as its content. Results of the empirical study prove the mode to be effective in increasing the students’ levels of speaking proficiency, social strategy and motivation. Key words: EFL Teaching in Chinese Context; Speaking Proficiency Training; Task-based Learning; Cooperative Learning; DV MA Rui-xue, MA Ze-jun, WANG Yi-jing (2012). An Empirical S t u d y o n S p e a k i n g P r o f i c i e n c y Tr a i n i n g f o r C h i n e s e E F L L e a r n e r s . H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n o f S o c i a l S c i e n c e, 2 ( 1 ) , 2 6 3 1 . Av a i l a b l e f r o m : U R L : h t t p : / / w w w. c s c a n a d a . n e t / i n d e x . php/hess/article/view/j.hess.1927024020120201.2640 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.hess.1927024020120201.2640.
1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The inadequate ability of using the language in authentic world is due to the problems of traditional EFL teaching system. Students have been facing pressure of English written exams ever since they started learning English. They are facing entrances exams for junior high schools, senior high schools, universities, graduate admission exams, PhD entrance exams. Even after graduation there are English exams for a promotion. Almost none of these important English exams includes oral competence evaluation. Consequently English teachers adopt teaching approaches no more than grammar translation and audiolingual methods with emphasis on accuracy of grammar and memorization of words, neglecting the communicative goal of language learning. This research summarizes the four reasons for the learners’ low speaking proficiency problems under traditional language teaching system into the following four “LACKS”. 1)Learners lack motivation to practice speaking. Adequate...