EFL learners’ oral communication strategies: Insights from a Taiwan and Poland exchange project
Hsin-Chou Huang, Barbara Loranc

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/9781914291050-9

In: Proceedings of the XXIst International CALL Research Conference (pp. 64–71)
Edited by Jozef Colpaert, Yijen Wang, Glenn Stockwell (2022)


Abstract

Recent studies have confirmed the benefits of virtual exchanges for enhancing EFL learners’ language skills, digital literacy and intercultural competence (O’Dowd & O’Rourke, 2019). This study examined oral communication strategies to determine which proved most effective for EFL learners attempting to communicate with global peers. Participants were 32 non-English majors from a national university in northern Taiwan and 38 education majors from a public university in Poland. During the 12-week exchange project, students engaged in three types of interactions: information exchange tasks to share their understanding of given cultural topics, comparison and analysis tasks to foster critical thinking about the topics, and product creation tasks, making use of technological tools to create videos showing students’ interpretations of cultural issues. Data from an oral communication survey revealed that students relied on various strategies to cope with speaking and listening problems. To deal with speaking problems, students gave examples if a listener did not understand. They also used gestures and facial expressions to facilitate communication. With regard to listening problems, students often guessed a speaker’s intention based on identification of familiar words and asking for repetition. Students appreciated the chance to have authentic encounters with global peers with whom they could use language for communication purposes. They learned about foreign cultures and gained greater respect for cultural differences. This study’s findings on students’ use of oral communication strategies and degrees of enhancement in intercultural competence will help future teachers determine how to best engage students in telecollaborative projects.

Suggested citation:

Huang, H.-C., & Loranc, B. (2022). EFL learners’ oral communication strategies: Insights from a Taiwan and Poland exchange project . In J. Colpaert, Y. Wang, & G. Stockwell (Eds.), Proceedings of the XXIst International CALL Research Conference (pp. 64–71). London: Castledown Publishers. https://doi.org/10.29140/9781914291050-9