The Role of Group Work inImproving Students’ Speaking Skillsat the English Language Center at the Arab American University-Jenin

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Ahmed Awad / Supervisor
Dr. Ziyad Tanni / External Examiner
Dr. Ayman Nazzal / Internal Examiner
Dr. Ahmed Awad / Supervisor
Doa’a Nayef Ahmed Aboura
This study sought to find out the role of group work in improving students’ speaking skills at the English Language Center (ELC) at the Arab American University (AAUJ) – Jenin. In order to achieve this purpose, the researcher used the experimental data collection instrument which was English speaking test. The researcher conducted this study on the representative sample of the study which was consisted of (60) advanced students who were chosen randomly in the fall semester of the academic year 2016-2017. It was divided into two groups which were experimental group and control group. Students of both groups were all non- native English speakers who live in Palestine and their age ranged from 18 to 23. The experimental group was taught speaking skills by using group work whereas the control one was taught speaking traditionally. The researcher collected data through administering English speaking oral test. To implement the speaking test as a study tool on the representative sample of study, the researcher examined its reliability and validity; accordingly, it was validated to be used as a pre- test for checking students’ levels of both groups and as a post- test for checking their improvement after engaging the students of the experimental group in a variety of speaking activities that used group work strategy. As well, the researcher used descriptive statistical analysis and inferential statistical analysis to analyze the collected data, answer the questions of the study and to determine the significant differences between experimental group and control group. After analyzing the collected data, the researcher found out that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups in favor of the experimental one in syntax, vocabulary, pronunciation, organizing information, comprehension, and fluency due to utilizing group work. The researcher has noticed that group work as suggested teaching strategy has a positive role in improving students’ oral performance and prompting learners’ motivation to produce good learning outcomes. As well, the findings of the study revealed that there were no significant differences in using group work in improving the students’ speaking skills between the results of the pre-test and post-test of the experimental group due to the independent variables of the study ( gender, academic level at university placement test, English mark at Tawjihi exam, stream and faculty). Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommended English teachers to give more emphasis to implement the applying group work in teaching speaking skills and cooperate with other teachers who have different backgrounds and experiences to achieve better results in students' competence and oral performance in English language. Nowadays, group work becomes not only a fundamental necessity in teaching speaking skills but also a challenging and enthusiastic strategy of untraditional teaching. Consequently, the researcher suggested that more studies should be conducted on the active role of using group work on different subjects and different areas of teaching English language.
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