Oral Proficiency of Gujarati Medium Students at Undergraduate Level in English Medium

Topics: Second language acquisition, Language acquisition, Language education Pages: 16 (5614 words) Published: August 29, 2013

Oral proficiency in English language plays a vital role in effective communicative behaviour. Oral proficiency in English facilitates speaker to express the thoughts very clearly. With globalization, the world has become very closer and therefore the demand of people, having the proficiency in English has increased at global level. Business English world also requires proficient people in English. The present study is an attempt to analyze the oral fluency factor of students who are shifting from Gujarati (vernacular) medium to English Medium at undergraduate level. The purpose of this study is to check the oral proficiency of students according to ACTFL guidelines and IELTS standards. Oral proficiency in English matters a lot to undergraduate level student as they are on the verge of getting higher step either in education or in career. Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing the information. A speaker’s speech habits have an impact on the success of any exchange of ideas. The more proficient speaker gets the more advantageous side in communication. Proficient speaker manages certain speech elements very successfully. These speech elements are turn-taking, rephrasing, feedback and redirecting. Keeping these elements in the mind, the present study comprises speaking tasks like interactive (phase 1 in interview), intensive (phase 2 in interview) and transactional (phase 3 in interview). The Usefulness of this study, it is believed, extends to teachers at undergraduate level who would like to make corrective measures in the speaking skill of students who are shifted from Gujarati (vernacular) medium.

Language is primarily speech, knowing a language is often defined as the ability to understand and speak the language. Development of the aural-oral skills has a crucial role in second language learning. Though listening and speaking go together, it is the latter which makes the learner more active. A person who speaks English as second language can:

1. produce the characteristics English speech sounds and sound patterns, both in isolation and in combination; 2. use appropriate stress and intonation patterns;
3. use appropriate words and structures to express the intended meaning; 4. recall words and structures quickly;
5. organize his thoughts and ideas in logical sequence;
6. Adjust his speech according to his audience, situation and subject matter. Vernacular medium students might commit mistake in following patterns of pronunciation as Vernacular language may not have the same sounds as in English Language.

Oral fluency plays a major role in communication. The flow of thought, if perceived without any hindrance can create the perfect perception in the mind of listener. Being a productive skill, speaking is concerned with an individual’s effort in it. Individual’s effort to speak up particular idea or conception takes the shape of particular message. Many factors are responsible for effortless, easy-flow speech. The first factor among them is the selection of language. If the speaker speaks in his first language, he does not require putting extra effort to translate his ideas as it happens in Second Language. That might be the reason that first language speech seems more natural and fluent. However, it does not mean that Oral Fluency cannot be achieved in Second Language. It all depends on the practice and ‘being in language entity’ of the second language. The second factor responsible for fluency is the relation between First Language and the Second Language. If both the languages are closer, flow can be achieved in the Second Language. Description of the Oral Proficiency Interview:

The ACTFL OPI is a criterion-referenced assessment instrument. It can be administered directly (in a face-to-face interview) or by...

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