Volume 4, Issue 1  April 2021, pp. 19–37          Download PDF

Regular Articles
An integrated approach to developing and assessing EFL students’ speaking ability and strategy use

Mu-Hsuan Chou https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8458-43861

1 Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, TAIWAN mhchou@gmail.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v4n1.428


Speaking a foreign language is a complicated process that involves linguistic competence, skills, and strategy use. Communicating through English in English for Academic Purposes courses is a basic requirement for EFL learners, but it can be a challenge. To improve the quality of speech, strengthen components of speaking competence, and raise learner awareness of metacognition, Goh and Burns (2012) propose an integrated pedagogical approach featuring a teaching cycle for developing and assessing students’ speaking. The present study accordingly aimed to test how far the teaching-speaking cycle was able to develop intermediate Taiwanese EFL university students’ speaking ability. Sixty university students participated in the study, which employed a quasi-experimental design. The Experimental Group (EG) received Goh and Burns’ integrated pedagogical approach for 18 weeks, whereas the Control Group (CG) simply practiced speaking as regular in-class activities. Speaking tests and questionnaires were used. The results showed that the EG adopted the rehearsal and social strategies more frequently than the CG. In the case of speaking performance, the EG students steadily improved their speaking ability through the semester. The speaking performance of the CG students, however, was limited. A close inspection of the scores revealed marked improvements in particular speaking components for the EG participants.


© Mu-Hsuan Chou

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Chou, M. (2021). An integrated approach to developing and assessing EFL students’ speaking ability and strategy use. Language Education & Assessment, 4(1), 19–37. https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v4n1.428

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