Personalized versus Normal Practice of L2 Speaking on Iranian EFL Learners’ Oral Proficiency

Ayda Rahmani

Abstract


Personalized learning is a self-initiated, self-directed or self-prioritized pursuit which gives the learner a degree of choice about the process of learning i.e. what to learn, how to learn and when to learn. Of course personalized learning does not indicate unlimited choice; because, L2 learners will still have targets to be met. However, it provides learners with the opportunity to learn in ways that suit their individual learning styles. The L2 learner should have the opportunity to freely choose a series of activities, already predisposed by the teacher, to improve and develop L2 proficiency. This is because human beings have different ways to learn and process information; and, these different ways of learning are independent of each other. In other words, learning styles and techniques differ across individuals; thus, personalized learning provides L2 learners to freely choose the activities they enjoy the most. So it is a student-centered learning method in which the interests and the preferences of the learner is taken into account.The present study is an investigation of a personalized versus normal practice of L2 proficiency. For this purpose an OPT (Oxford Placement Test) was given to a total of 80 Iranian EFL learners. Then, 40 of them who were considered as intermediate learners were selected for the purpose of the study. The participants were randomly divided into two groups i.e. an experimental group and a control group. Both groups were pretested prior to the study. Then, the experimental group received the treatment in the form of personalized learning (games-based learning, songs, music, stories, English tongue twisters and the materials that the subjects were most interested in) for ten sessions while the control group received a normal practice of speaking proficiency (based on New Interchange course books). After ten sessions, both groups were post tested. Then the results of the posttests were subjects of statistical analysis (independent-samples t-test). The results indicated that the experimental group did better than the control group and there is a significant difference between the mean scores of the experimental group who were exposed to a personalized learning and the control group who received a normal practice of oral proficiency i.e. a placebo. Based on the results of this study, L2 learner’ interests in carrying out joyful L2 activities can help to reach promising results.

 


Keywords


Personalized learning, Oral proficiency, EFL learners, Communication

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.2p.151

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