Introduction Developing learners’ oral communicative competence is one of the most important interpersonal skills supported by the communicative approach in foreign language classrooms
Developing learners’ oral communicative competence is one of the most important interpersonal skills supported by the communicative approach in foreign language classrooms. Oral presentation has been identified as one of the most effective classroom activities for improving learners’ communicative competence. This chapter will provide a general overview about the concept of oral presentation. First, it defines the concept of oral presentation. Second, it explains the major types of oral presentation in relation to the teacher’s objective and learners’ proficiency level. Third, it provides an insight into the various stages involved in the preparation of an effective oral presentation and describes, in details, its structure and organization. Fourth, it deals with oral presentation as a communicative learning activity that is emphasized by the communicative language teaching approach. The chapter also highlights the role of tutors in teaching and assessing oral presentations. Fifth, it explains the importance of using oral presentation to improve learners’ communicative skills in the target language. Finally, this chapter ends up with some implementations of visual aids in oral presentations.
1. Definition of Oral Presentation
Oral presentation is the speech that someone delivers to an audience to communicate his message. As stated by Baker (2000, p.115), oral presentation is speaking to a group as a natural activity in order to inform and persuade. This means that oral presentation is similar to talking to large groups. De Grez (as cited in Ginkel et al, 2016) defines oral presentation as: “the combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to speak in public in order to self-express, to relate and to persuade”. In other words, oral presentation is a competence that requires a set of skills, it is where presenters show their knowledge about a particular subject in front of an audience. In addition, Mandel (2000, p.8) describes oral presentation as: “a speech that is only given in a business, technical, professional, or scientific environment .The audience is likely to be more specialized than those attending a typical speech event”. Accordingly, oral presentation is an audience-specific activity that is used in different contexts to transmit a given message.
Moreover, oral presentation is an organized and structured activity that is performed through different steps. This activity should be carefully structured and occurs in an organized setting in a limited period of time.Meloon and Thompson (1980,p.503) believe that if oral presentation is guided and organized, it gives students a valuable learning experience and teaches them an important skill that will be used in their education and later in their job. Furthermore, oral presentation is concerned with the spoken language and not the written one i.e., the message will be transmitted orally using appropriate language. Thus, oral presentation is considered as an effective strategy that is used by foreign language teachers to improve learners’ speaking proficiency in the target language.
2. Types of oral presentation
Oral presentation in EFL classrooms can take different forms, and they can be prepared in different ways depending on the teacher’s objective and learners’ proficiency level. Al-Issa & Redha, 2010(as cited in TESOL Journal, 2010) mention that oral presentations can be classified into three types: controlled, guided and free oral presentations.
2.1 Controlled Oral Presentations
In this type, the teacher has to control the student’s activities and select the topic depending on their level. The teacher should not expect something perfect from the students since they are not supposed to make long presentations. The aim of this type is to give students an opportunity to gain self-confidence and practice the target language in context. Thus, it is useful for lower-intermediate or intermediate students’ language proficiency level.
2.2. Guided Oral Presentations
Guided presentations are relevant for students who have already acquired some language background and developed some competencies. Teachers should just guide them to make sure they use relevant grammatical structures and lexical items. Teachers can also guide students to prepare their projects, using power point and overhead projectors (OHP) to make them more persuasive, interesting and professional.
2.3. Free Oral Presentations
In this type, students are given freedom to choose the topic. At this stage, they are expected to deliver longer presentation and use complex language structure. As long as they were exposed enough to guided practice, students gain confidence and the ability to tackle wider subjects by collecting data from different sources. Once the presentation is over, there will be a question-answer process about the topic and students are expected to answer the questions asked by both the teacher and their peers.
3. Preparation of Oral Presentation
Preparing a good oral presentation goes through different stages. Tracy (2000, p.18) notes: “fully 90 percent of your success as a speaker will be determined by how well you plan your speech”. This means that learning how to prepare an oral presentation is a crucial step after teaching students how to speak and to listen.
3.1. Planning and Preparation Stage
In the planning and preparation stage, the speakers are going to decide the reasons of presenting the topic. The more the reasons are clear and straightforward, the more the presentation is effective .In addition, time plays a great role in the result of the preparation. Chivers and Shoolbred (2008, p.22) claim that a short amount of time creates pressures on what you can achieve and may limit the quality of the final presentation and a long amount of time can result in a lack of focus with tasks. Thus, giving the students enough time to prepare their project can be useful to create a better result.
Moreover, Chivers and Shoolbred suggest that the preparation of a good oral presentation involves: first, listing all the tasks that need to be complete before the date of presentation and placing them in an order of propriety. Second, allocating the time needed to complete each of these tasks. Third, reallocating the remaining time to make sure that all the tasks are been completed.
So, if students plan and prepare their presentations carefully, they will succeed in answering all the questions because each student will know everything about the topic.
3.2 Preparation of the Content
The content of oral presentations needs to be relevant and interesting to the audience. Chivers and Shoolbred (2008, p. 23) points: “choose the content which is relevant to the context and module studied”. It is useful for learners to relate the topic to real life situations and to provide vivid and relevant examples to the audience to raise their interest and clear ambiguity. As stated by Warner (1996, p.64): “gross errors of fact, gaps in the investigative process, and demonstrations that do not work, will destroy the most elegant presentation”. In addition, links for further sources of information should be provided to help them to get information about the topic. Chivers and Shoolbred (2008, p.23) emphasize “the source could be related to the content that you have not been able to include but can be used for further reading and knowledge development”. Therefore, the sources of information should be written at the end of the presentation.
3.3. Delivery of Oral Presentation
To achieve the objective of an oral presentation, learners should know how to manage time appropriately and to deliver the presentation in a coherent way that helps the audience make connection between the ideas. A key characteristic of a good presenter is the ability to use time allocated appropriately. Chivers and Shoolbred (2008, p.23) argue that the use of time during the presentation is related to the content i.e. if the presenter does not have enough time, they can just introduce the main points without going into details. So, learners need to structure and organize the work accurately.
4. Structure of Oral Presentation
In order to affect the audience, presenters should provide a clear, well structured outline. Chivers and Shoolbred (2008, p. 22) claim: “a clear structure usually helps the audience to gain a quick understanding of the content of the presentation” .This means that a well structured presentation makes it easier for the listener to understand its content. Storz et Al (2002, P.5) divide a typical presentation into three parts:
Introduction is the most important part of the presentation through which the audience attention is attracted. Storz et Al (2002, p.5) state that, in English countries, when speakers want to get the audience attention, they start with a joke or statement to surprise them, and to raise their interest. Engaging introductions involve greeting the audience, informing them about the title and the outline of the presentation and raising their awareness about the objective of the presentation. So, being intelligent in attracting the audience attention will help you to engage and involve them in your talk.
4.2. The body
This section is wholly dictated by the topic being covered, it consists of the content, which should be relevant and serve the objective of the presentation. Learners should sequence information from the general to the specific and to focus on the quality rather than how much information is included in the presentation. Also learners should make a connection between their ideas and maintain a smooth transition in order to achieve coherence and cohesion in their presentation.
It is important to inform the audience that the presentation is finished. Storz et Al (2002,p.11)state: “the end of your talk should include four parts: a brief reminder of what you tried to show in your speech and how you tried to do so , a short conclusion , make comments or open a discussion”. At the end of the presentation, the presenter tries to answer all the audiences’ questions. Conclusions should include a signal that it is the conclusion, summary of points, and an appropriate ending (such as “Thank You”).
4.4. Voice and Pronunciation
In oral presentations, the voice is the main means of communication with the audience. In order to be understood, voice qualities including loudness, speed (fast or slow), pitch (high or low) and silent moments or pauses are used to indicate importance, to create atmosphere and to avoid sounding monotonous. Storz et Al (2002, p.18) believe that voice is important in giving the audience the exact meaning. If speakers raise their voice, they will attract the audience. Also, it is vital to ensure that, at least, the key technical terms of the presentation are pronounced correctly. Therefore, the difficult words should be checked before the delivery of the presentation.
5. Oral Presentation as a Communicative Learning Activity
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has been widely adopted by language teachers around the world because of its importance in the improvement of learners’ communicative competence. In EFL classrooms, teachers shift away from teaching purely grammar and vocabulary towards tasks, which help students to develop their oral proficiency and communicative skills. Stern (1992, p.177) defines communicative activities as:” activities that involve learners in authentic communication”.
Oral presentation, as an option of communicative activities, is assigned by language teachers in order to maximize student-teacher interaction as well as to improve and to assess students’ oral proficiency since it provides them with an opportunity to speak, to share and to discuss their ideas. King(2002,p.402) states : “having students give oral presentations in front of their classmates is one of the learner -centered activities that has been widely included in teachers’ lesson plan to improve students’ oral proficiency”. Moreover, oral presentations improve learners’ interaction skills and encourage their intrinsic motivation; they will learn new communication skills including: physical and non-verbal skills such as: eye contact, gesture and posture. They will, also, learn how to use presentation skills to perform and to communicate in cooperative learning environment.
Indeed, oral presentation is an activity that satisfies the main goal of CLT, which is to make learners investigate, articulate, and directly share their ideas with their teacher and peers, and if this method is adopted appropriately in EFL classrooms, it will provide them with an enjoyable way to use English to communicate with their classmates.
6. Teaching Oral Presentation skills
In EFL classroom, many students perceive oral presentation as an anxious activity because of the lack of experience and the necessary skills. Teaching students oral presentation techniques provides a chance to gain insight into knowledge and skills that lead to a good performance. In the past, the main focus was to teach grammatical rules, and vocabulary, nowadays, the communicative approach aims to train students on how to organize the main idea about a given topic in a logical coherent process and, also, how to develop their ability to produce correct language King ( 2002, p.406). Thus, teaching some prerequisite skills such as the mastery of the topic and the ability to interact with others will allow learners to actually enjoy sharing their knowledge constructively and lead to successful communication.
6.1 .The Teacher’s Role
The teacher’s role in oral presentations involves preparing detailed guidelines, organizing groups, helping students to select topics, guiding their research and helping them learn the use of various visual aids. In addition, Teachers, also, hold question and answer sessions to discuss the content of the presentation, then provide feedback about the sequence of ideas and finally evaluate students’ performance. King (2002.p.408) suggested the following step-by-step procedures to prepare students for successful oral presentations:
6.1.1. Handing Out Guidelines
Oral presentations require many skills. A carefully planned and constructed guideline with clear instructional objectives will motivate students and increase their participation, which in turn will improve their performance.
6.1.2 .Grouping and Scheduling Student Presentations
Group presentations with four to five students in each group will save class time, develop cooperative learning skills and reduce anxiety. In order to have a dynamic group with a feeling of cooperation, teachers need to be familiar with a variety of cooperative group techniques. It is better to let students choose their own partners so that they feel more comfortable.
6.1.3. Handling Technical Problems
It is important for students to know in an advance how to handle the equipment themselves. Usually, students concentrate all their energy on performance and forget to check machines, and expect the teacher to fix their technical problems. A discussion about the equal importance of both rehearsal and performance will prevent students from technical surprises and panic in the day of the presentation.
7. Evaluation of oral presentation
Evaluating oral presentations offers the teachers the opportunity to assess the structure and content as well as students’ capacity to answer any subsequent questions. Two methods are used to evaluate oral presentations namely: oral and written evaluation. Oral evaluation may be given after each presentation, Students receive immediate feedback and teachable moments become part of the schedule. However, oral evaluations may be forgotten or misinterpreted by speakers in the “let-down” after the presentation performance.
On the other hand, written evaluation can be helpful by providing a record of response for each speaker, and it encourages those responses to be more thoughtful and deliberate. Using evaluation forms rather than free-form comments facilitates the consistency of feedback and the application of the full criteria of evaluation
7.1. Preparing Peer and Teacher Evaluation Forms
The peer evaluation form (see appendix 1) provides the presenters with feedback from non presenting students who will not only evaluate their peers, but also learn each group’s strengths and weaknesses. Girard, Pinar and Trapp (2011, p.78)note: “We believe that peer evaluation could be a good way to get non-presenting students involved and engaged in the presentations in order to get the most benefit from the learning experience”. Thus, asking students to list what they learn from presentations through taking notes will promote a greater involvement in the presentations. The teacher’s evaluation form (see appendix 2) should be given to students while assigning the work in order to be used as a guideline to prepare their presentations. Hence, learners should be informed in an advance of the criteria by which their presentations will be evaluated.
7.2. Evaluating students’ oral Presentations (criteria to Consider)
Girard, Pinar and Trapp (2011, p.79) suggest the following criteria to evaluate students’ oral presentations:
The content of the presentation is evaluated based on a set of pre-determined criteria. Teachers have to evaluate: first, the quality and the quantity of information; whether students were informative enough without overwhelming the audience with excessive details. Second, the appropriateness of the supporting materials the group has used to develop and explain the main points. Third, time management, students are supposed to respect time allocated whether the group fulfills time expectations or not.
To evaluate the organization, teachers focus on the extent to which student have developed an effective plan and respect the structure (clear introduction, body and conclusion).In addition, the co-ordination between group members such as the use of transitions and other oral organizing devices are also evaluated.
7.2.3. Oral Communication
Teachers evaluate the ability to introduce clear and concise information without reading from complete texts. Teacher’s evaluation will focus mainly on how students maintain their classmates’ attention through avoiding physical and vocal distractions.
7.2.4. Role Performance
Presentation tasks are assumed to be equally distributed between members of the group. Therefore, each member will be responsible for his/her specific task and evaluated accordingly.
8. The importance of oral presentation in foreign language classroom
Oral presentations have been shown to be extremely successful to improve learners’ speaking skills. Girard, Pinar and Trapp (2011,p.78) found that using oral presentations in their classroom lead to a greater class participation, an increased interest in learning and noticeable improvements in students’ communication and presentation skills. This implies that the EFL teacher should assign oral presentations to promote interaction and make the class more interesting. King (2002, p.402) adds that oral presentations bridge the gap between language study and language use because such activity will maximize student-talking and engage them in cooperative tasks that require the use English to explain ideas and to negotiate meaning.
In addition, oral presentations are student-centered. Learners, who are presenting, are free to choose the topic, the language and the items they will to use to introduce and explain the topic for their teacher and classmates. This contribution to the course can lead to higher level of motivation; students will be extremely motivated, especially, when they succeed after their hard work which in turn will develop confidence, self-esteem, and autonomy.
Even for non-presenting students, Girard, Pinar and Trapp (2011, p.78) claim that the potential benefits for them include learning different perspectives about the course material and improving communications skills by observing others. In other words, oral presentation helps students to become active listeners through note-taking and discussion
Indeed, oral presentations as a teaching technique provide a chance for learners to gain insight into knowledge and skills that make a good lecturer which often turns to become their vocation. The mastery of the topic and the ability to interact with others will allow them to enjoy sharing their knowledge constructively both for their audience and themselves with structured planning and organization.
8. Visual aids in oral presentations
8.1. Definition of visual aids
Visual aids can be a very powerful tool that enhances the impact of oral presentations and increases the credibility and persuasion of the audience. Beebe and Beebe (2007, p.321) state: “a presentation aid is any object that reinforces your point visually so that your audience can better understand it” .This means that when words and images are presented in different formats, they can appeal directly to audience imagination, adding power to the spoken words.
In addition, Warner (1996, p.124) argues that visual aids can help to keep the attention of the audience as humans require visual stimulus which is not found in the speech alone. King (2002, p.402) notes “with the availability of technology video cameras, slide, project, power point, VCD/DVD and other visual aids could be much more exciting and interesting than traditional ones “.
8.2. Types of visual aids
There are many different types of visual aids that learners can use in their oral presentations to maintain interest and assist comprehension. Beebe (2007, p.325) categorized visual aids into: graphs, charts, videos and power point slides.
A graph is a pictorial representation of statistical data in an easy format. Displaying graphs can greatly reinforce key points in the presentation because they make data more concrete. Beebe (2007, p.325) notes that graphs are particularly effective in showing overall trends and relationships among data. So, this visual aid is very useful for presenting a detailed statistical data.8.2.2 Charts
Charts are useful for summarizing large blocks of information and for showing the steps of a process. Beebe (2007, p.329) claimed that charts should not include much information in, but to be brief and concise.
Videos are used to bring movement, picture and sound into the presentation. Learners should make sure that the clip is relevant and avoid using long videos. So videos made the presentation more vivid through showing simulating visual information.
8.2.4 Power point slides
Microsoft Power point is probably the most commonly used form of visual aids in education as it allows learners to present colorful, interesting visuals and manage and combine a range of multimedia information. The slides can be shown via a computer screen or printed in the form of Overhead Transparencies. . However, if not designed well, it can be a distraction and lead to a poor presentation. Imam and Alalyani (2017, p.6) suggest that the learners should avoid overloading slides with an excess of information and numbers and to carefully choose the colour of text and background. It is also advisable to avoid using distractive background which can divert the focus of the audience.
In addition, the same authors point that an adequate font of 32 point for text and 36 point for the headings should be used to ensure the legibility of the text. To attract the audience attention, it has always proven to be of great success to highlight important text with prominent colours. This will also help in better retention of the text. Learners can also reinforce their message by adding simple and easily understandable figures. In this case, it is required to make sure the image maintains its impact and resolution when projected on a larger screen to avoid distraction.Moreover, Imam and Alalyani stress the importance of sequencing the slides properly so that the audience can easily grab the topic matter being discussed.
Certainly, visual aids are a powerful tool in creating clear, well structured presentation that has a strong visual impact. But learners, also, should rehearse their aids, use eye contact, explain the aids, and use technology effectively to achieve a better performance.
Oral presentation is indeed a learner-centered activity that promotes interaction and turns the classroom into an active, safe, and enjoyable place. It is important that teachers equip students with the skills needed to communicate effectively in the target language so that they can share and exchange their ideas, feelings, opinions. Introducing oral presentations in EFL classrooms provide a simulating experience for both teachers and learners. A well prepared, structured and organized presentation will help students to collect, organize and construct information, enhance team work and help them to become active and autonomous learners. For a better performance, students should be trained to use visual aids appropriately to reach the objective of their presentations.
This chapter outlines the research methodology which enabled to explore the attitudes of students towards using OP as a form of assessment. Schenck and Louw (2008, p.369-370) claimed that a well-planned research methodology helps the researcher to obtain information regarding the problem. The chapter is divided into two sections. The first section describes the procedure and strategies which were used to collect and analyze data. It consists of the description of the research design, the target population, sample size and sampling techniques, data collection instruments and finally data analysis. The second section is devoted to discussion, limitations, implications and suggestions for further research.
Section One: Description of the Study, Data Analysis and Interpretation
1. Research method
De Vos (2002,p.137-138) define a research design as” the selection of a specific design chosen from a group of small worked-out formulas to enable the researcher to reach specific goals and objectives”. Graziano and Raulin (2000, p.223) add that a research design is the blueprint, which guides the researcher’s activities. This study adopted a descriptive survey design since it deals with people’s attitudes and opinions. Grazino and Raulin add that descriptive survey method is often used to study people’s feelings, thinking and attitudes about specific aspects. Hence, it was the most suitable method for this study.
2. Population of the study
Research population refers to the group of individuals from which the sample is drawn. Strydom and Venter (2002, p.198) define a research population as “the boundary that is set within a universe, which comprises all potential subjects who possess the attributes required by the researcher”. In addition, Graziano and Raulin (2000, p.207) define a research population as the larger group of interest from which a sample is selected. The population for this research included both students and teachers at the department of English at Tebessa University.
3. Sample of the study
Rosnow and Rosenthal (1999, p.203) describe a sample as the fraction drawn from the population to generalize the results to a larger specified group of individuals. The sample of this study included: 1) third year students of English, at the University of Tebessa, the reason behind choosing third year students is that students , at this level, had been exposed to a greater extent of oral presentations throughout the years of study, which could have developed and stabilized their attitudes towards oral presentations with time.2) teachers of English, at Tebessa University, who were involved in the study to share their opinions about the usefulness of assessing students through oral presentations.
3.1. Sampling techniques and sample size
Participants in the study were selected using both simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques so that to achieve variability and make the sample more representative. The twoo methods were used as follow:
1- Simple random sampling was used to select a number of fifty (50) third year students randomly from a total of 122 students. This technique ensures that each subject has equal chance to take part in the study hence reducing sampling bias.
2- Purposive sampling was used to select five (5) teachers from a total of x teachers at the department of English at Tebessa University .Teacher participants were selected depending on the nature of the subject they are teaching i.e. that requires oral presentations. This ensures that the selected participants meet the pre-selected criteria.
4. Data Collection Instrument
The questionnaire was the most preferred compared to other methods since it was the most appropriate tool for testing attitudes and opinions. Holliday (2002, p.140) describes the questionnaire as a survey instrument that is used to determine the respondents’ knowledge and attitudes to a presenting problems. For the purpose of the study, two questionnaires were used for both students and teachers.
4. 1. Students’ Questionnaire
To collect data from participants, a questionnaire on their attitudes (opinions, preferences and reactions) towards the significance of using oral presentations as a form of assessment was developed. It starts by an introduction that describes the aim and the topic of the research and consists of 29 statements. The questions were simple and clear to allow the students to better understand the questions thus, provide appropriate answers. The statements were grouped into three sections as follow:
4.1.1. Section one: Students’ attitudes towards oral presentations
It consists of eleven (11) items aimed to get information about students’ desire to deliver oral presentations.
4.1.2. Section two: EFL students’ difficulties in delivering oral presentation
The section consists of eleven (10) items designed to explore the difficulties EFL students face when they perform oral presentations.
4.1.3. Section three: EFL students’ view of the importance of delivering oral presentation
It consists of eight (8) items used to get information about the effect of oral presentations on students’ speaking and communicative skills.
The questionnaire adopted a four point Likert scale questions comprising four options (SA-strongly agree, A-agree, S- strongly disagree, D-disagree) because it is the most reliable to measure attitudes and opinions. Students are supposed to circle their choice from one extreme attitude to another. At the end, an open-ended question is used to obtain additional information about the skills students need to develop to enhance their oral presentation performance.
4.2. Teachers’ questionnaire
Teachers’ questionnaire aims to investigate the usefulness of oral presentations in different English classes. The questionnaire consists of ten (10) Yes/No questions and multiple choice questions.
4.3. Administration of the questionnaires
Students’ questionnaire was distributed at the English Department of Tebessa on March, 12th during ordinary sessions. Researcher first sought permission from the teachers and asked them to distribute the questionnaires on students and then, to collect them by the end of the session to make sure all the copies were filled in and returned back.
Teachers’ questionnaires were distributed during classes. Teachers were asked to fill in the questionnaire then, to leave the copy in the department. The questionnaires were collected few days later to make sure all the copies were returned back.
5. Data analysis
This section contains the quantitative analysis of the results obtained from both students and teachers’ questionnaires. The statistical information was analyzed to determine the attitudes students hold towards oral presentations as a form of assessment as well as the usefulness of oral presentations in EFL classes. The quantitative data is shown in the tables and graphs below.
5.1.1. Analysis of the Students’ Responses
220.127.116.11. Section one: students’ attitudes towards oral presentations
Item 1: oral presentation is an important activity in EFL classes
Item 1 SA A SD D Total
N 33 15 1 1 50
% 66 30 2 2 100
Table 01: the importance of oral presentation is EFL classes
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1 : the importance of oral presentation in EFL classes
The results above indicate that 48 students (96%) are aware of the importance of OPs .33 students 66% answered with “S A” and 15 (30%) of them responded with “A” whereas, only 2 students (4%) did not perceive it as an important activity. This might be interpreted as the awareness of third year students of the impact of OPs on developing both speaking and communicative skills.
Item 2: OPs make the class more interesting
Item 2 SA A SD D Total
N 24 23 0 3 50
% 48 46 0 6 100
Table2: oral presentations make the class more interesting
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2 : OPs make the class more interesting
The results show that 47 students (94%) confirm that EFL classes become more interesting when teachers assign OPs projects.48% (24 students) strongly agreed and 46% (23 students) agreed whereas, only 2 students disagreed. These findings might be interpreted by the fact that third year students, during the three years of study, have experienced EFL classes with and without OPs. Consequently, they found that OPs make the class more interesting and enjoyable rather than traditional teacher lecture method.
Item 3: I’am motivated to make oral presentations
Item 3 SA A SD D Total
N 16 29 1 4 50
% 32 58 2 8 100
Table 3: students’ motivation towards making oral presentations
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 :students’motvation towards OPs From the table above, we notice that 90% of the respondents are motivated towards OPs. A number of 29 students (58%) agreed and 16 of them (32%) strongly agree that they are motivated to make oral presentations. Only 1 student strongly disagreed and 4 (8%) disagreed. This high percentage can be explained by the desire of third year students to take part in the delivery of the lessons and their desire to learn presentation skills.
Item 4: I do not like oral presentations
Item 4 SA A SD D Total
N 4 1 10 35 50
% 8 2 20 70 100
Table 4: students’ attitudes towards oral presentations
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4: students’ attitudes towards OPs The table shows that the majority of the respondents 90 %( 45 students) like OPs.10 students (20%) strongly disagreed and 35(70%) disagree. On the other side, a few numbers of students said that they do not like OPs: 1 strongly agreed and 4 agreed. This high percentage is expected and can be interpreted as students’ high level of motivation toward OPs.
Item 5: I would enjoy the class more if there were no OPs
Item 5 SA A SD D Total
N 2 10 9 29 50
% 4 20 15 58 100
Table5: OPs make the class more enjoyable
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5:OPs make the class more enjoyabe
The table indicates that third year students (76%) would not enjoy EFL classes if there were no OPs. 18% (9 students) answered with “SD” and 29 (58%) answered with “D”. Though 24 % of the students agree that EFL classes are more enjoyable if teachers do not assign OPs projects, 76% is a good indicator that OPs play a great role in creating an enjoyable learning environment where both the teacher and students contribute to the lesson.
Item 6: I usually listen carefully to my classmates’OPs
Item 6 SA A SD D Total
N 8 37 2 3 50
% 16 74 4 6 100
Table 6: students’ interest in their classmates OPs
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6:students’interest in their classmates’OPs The results show that 90% of third year students are attentive listeners.8 students (16%) strongly agreed and 37 (74%) agree that they listen carefully to their classmates’OPs. This might be interpreted as their interest in the topic and their desire to develop their listening skills through oral presentations. Students who do not pay attention to their classmates’OPs represent 10% of the sample. 2 (4%) students strongly disagreed and 4 (8%) of them disagreed. This can be interpreted as the lack of interest either in the topic or in the class in general, or it can be due presenters’ performance (voice and speed).
Item 7: I would like to participate in the discussion of OPS
Item 7 SA A SD D Total
N 17 26 1 6 50
% 34 52 2 12 100
Table 7: students’ participation in the discussion of OPS
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7: students’ participation in OPs discussion This item aims to determine whether students participate in the discussion of OPs or not. An examination of the table above indicates that 17 students (34%) agreed and 26 (52%) strongly agreed that they take part in the classroom debates, which means that they are active listeners. We notice also that 14 % of the students (1 strongly agree and 6 disagree) stated they do not take part in classroom discussion. This can be interpreted as the interest of students to learn through getting involved and engaged in classroom participation.
Item8: I prefer written assessment than oral assessment
Item8 SA A SD D Total
N 17 15 4 14 50
% 34 30 8 28 100
Table8: students’ preferences of assessment type
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8:students’preferences of assessment type Figure8: students’ preferences of assessment type
The results show that most of students 64 % of the respondents favor written assessment rather than oral assessment.17 students (34%) strongly agree and 15 of them (34%) agree that prefer written assessment. Those who favor oral assessment represent 36 % of the respondents (8%) strongly disagreed and (28%) disagreed. These findings can be interpreted in relation to the difficulties students face during oral assessment and by the fact that students feel more comfortable during written assessments.
Item 9: I care about the comments given b the teacher following my OP
Item 9 SA A SD D Total
N 32 16 0 3 50
% 62 32 0 6 100
Table 9: students’ consideration of teachers’ comments
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 9:students’consideration of teachers’comments Responses to this item revealed that 94 % of students take teachers’ comments into consideration. 32students (62%) strongly agreed and 16(32%) agreed that teachers’commnents are very important whereas, only 6 % neglect the remarks given by the teacher following their OPs. It is obvious that third year EFL students are aware of the importance of the teacher’s feedback and seek to improve their OP performance.
Item10: teacher’s evaluation of my OP is fair
Item10 SA A SD D Total
N 12 36 0 2 50
% 24 72 0 4 100
Table10: students’ beliefs about teachers’ evaluation of OPs
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 10:students’beliefs about teachers’ evaluation of OPs The table shows that 94% of students (24% “SA” and 723%”A”) believe that teachers’ evaluation of their OPs is fair, while only 4% disagree and think that teachers were not fair enough. These findings mean that EFL teachers are objective and strict in the evaluation.
Item11: I’ am satisfied with my OPs grade
ItemI11 SA A SD D Total
N 8 31 0 11 50
% 16 62 0 22 100
Table 11: Students’ satisfaction with their OP grades
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 11:students’satisfaction of OPs grades
The results indicate that 78% of students are satisfied with their performance grades (16 “SA” and 62 “A”). Although 22% (11students) disagree, this item supports students’ responses in item ten about their beliefs about teachers’ evaluation which means that OPs grades really reflect students’ effort and performance.
18.104.22.168. Section two: the difficulties EFL students face in oral presentation
Item 12: I bring notes with me during my oral presentation even if I am well prepared
Item 12 SA A SD D Total
N 15 31 0 4 50
% 30 60 0 8 100
Table 12: students’ dependence on notes
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 12:students’dependence on notes
The results above indicate that almost the students (92%) depend on their notes when they deliver of OPs. 15students (30%) strongly agreed and 31(62%) agreed. whereas only 4 students (8%) disagree. This means that the majority of students lack the ability to retain information as well as the ability to paraphrase and summarize using their own words.
Item 13: when I start my oral presentation, I forget everything I want to say
Item 13 SA A SD D Total
6 16 14 14 50
12 32 28 28 100
Table 13: students forget about their oral presentations once they start
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 13:students’ability to remember what they have prepared The table indicates that (44%) of students forget what to say once they start presenting.12 %( 6 students) strongly agreed and 32 % (16 students) agreed .This can be interpreted as the effect of stress and shyness on students ‘performance .However, 56% of them do not agree. This percentage can be explained by the fact that some students are well prepared and more confident than others.
Item 14: I prefer to memorize the topic of oral presentation than to understand it
Item 14 SA A SD D Total
3 11 17 19 50
6 22 34 38 100
Table 14: students’ preference of memorization rather than understanding
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 14:students’dependence on memorization The results indicate that 28% (6% “SA” and 22% “A”) that they prefer to memorize the topic than to understand it .By contrast, 36 students (72%) are not for memorization. These findings can be interpreted as the ability of third year students to generate ideas in their own words.
Item 15: I care about grammar rather than fluency in oral presentation
Item 15 SA A SD D Total
6 17 1 26 50
12 34 2 52 100
Table 15: students’ interest during presentation (fluency/ accuracy)
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 15:students’accuracy and fluency during OPs The results above indicate that 23 students (46%) confirm that that they care about grammar rather than fluency during presentation while, 27 students (54%) care more about being fluent regardless of the grammatical mistakes. This means that students give importance to meaning rather than form.
Item 16: Not having courses in oral presentation is the reason behind my low performance
Item 16 SA A SD D Total
20 12 5 13 50
40 24 10 26 100
Table 16: the effect of the lack of oral presentations course on students’ performance
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 16: the effect of the lack of OP courses on students ‘performance
The results above indicate that 19 students (38%) agree that the reason behind their low performance is the lack oral presentations course whereas, 29 students (62%) do not consider oral presentations as a course of study. This means that third year students lack presentation skills and need to have courses to enhance their performance.
Item 17: I feel shy during oral presentation
Item 17 SA A SD D Total
11 16 5 18 50
22 32 10 36 100
Table 17: students’ feeling of shyness during oral presentation
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 17:students’ feeling of shyness during OPs The results above show that 27 students (54%) agree that they feel shy during oral presentations. By the opposite, 23 students (46%) disagree. may feel shy to speak in public while others are not. This might be explained by the fact that some EFL students lack self confidence and fear of speaking in public which, lead them to feel uncomfortable and shy.
Item 18: I feel anxious when my classmates start to ask questions.
Item 18 SA A SD D Total
2 20 8 20 50
4 40 16 40 100
Table 18: students’ fear of questions asked by their peers
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 18:students’ anxiety towards questions The results above show that 22 students (44%) agree that they feel anxious when they are asked by their peers (4% “SA” and 40% “A”) while, 28 students (56%) do not bather. Students’ anxiety can be due to poor preparation and lack of knowledge about the topic.
Item 19: I try to avoid eye contact during presentation
Item 20 SA A SD D Total
N 8 16 9 17 50
% 16 32 18 34 100
Table 19: student’ use of eye contact
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 19:students’use of eye contact The results above show that 23 students (46%) agree that they try to avoid eye contact during oral presentations, while 27 students (54%) disagree. The fact that students avoid eye contact reflects both the lack of self-confidence and presentation skills.
Item 20: The instructor’s interruption with questions or criticism affects my performance
Item 20 SA A SD D Total
N 8 27 4 11 50
% 16 54 8 22 100
Table 20: instructor’s interruption may affect students’ performance
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 20:the effect of teacher’s interruption on students’performance The results above show that 35 students (70%) agree that the instructor’s interruption with questions or criticism affects their performance while, 15 students (30%) do not bather about the instructor’s interruption. In fact, interruption may lead students to forget their ideas. Therefore, students prefer to finish their presentations then start the discussion
Item 21: the nature of the topic affects my performance
Item22 SA A SD D Total
12 22 3 13 50
% 24 44 6 26 100
Table 21: The nature of the topic affects students’ performance
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 21:the nature of the topic affects students’ performance The results above show that 34 students (68%) agree that the nature of the topics affect their presentations, while 16 students (32%) did not care much about the topic. This can be explained by the fact that when students receive topics out the area of their interest, they may dislike working on them.
Section three: the importance of oral presentation for EFL students
Item 22: oral presentation increased my self-confidence
Item23 SA A SD D Total
N 26 22 0 2 50
% 52 44 0 4 100
Table 22: the effect of OP on students’ self-confidence
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 22:the effect of OPs on students’self-confidence The results obtained from the table reveal that 26 students (52%) strongly agree and 22(44%) agree that oral presentation has increased their self-confidence whereas, only 2 students (4%) out 50 disagree. These findings can be explained by the fact that third year students have developed a high level of self confidence because they passed through many presentations during the years of study. This implies that delivering OPs build students’ self confidence and overcome the fear of speaking in public.
Item 23: oral presentations helped me to assess my communicative skills in English
Item 23 SA A SD D Total
N 26 22 0 2 50
% 54 40 0 6 100
Table 23: assessing communicative skills through OPs
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 23:assessing communicative skills through OPs The analysis of the results shows that 94 % of students agree that oral presentations helped them to assess communicative skills in English.26 students (54%) answered with “strongly agree” and 22 students answered with “agree” whereas, only 2 students (6%) disagree. This means that OP plays an important role in developing students’ communicative competence as it bridges the gap between language study and use and allows learners to integrate all the skills need for successful communication (verbal and non-verbal).
Item 24: oral presentations helped me to cooperate with my classmates
Item 24 SA A SD D Total
N 11 36 0 3 50
% 22 72 0 6 100
Table 24: OPs encourage students’ cooperation
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 24:OPs encourage students’cooperation
From the table, we notice that 94 % of the questioned students confirmed that oral presentations promote cooperation between learners.11 students (22%) answered with” SA” and 36 students (72%) answered with” A”. even though 3 students (6%) disagree with the statement, these findings are explained by the fact that third year students have developed the habit to work in pairs or groups which maximizes students cooperation and interaction. This item proved that oral presentations are effective to reinforce pair and team work and enhance collaboration between learners.
Item 25: listening to oral presentations improved my listening skills
Item25 SA A SD D Total
N 17 23 0 10 50
% 34 46 0 20 100
Table 25: OPs develop listening skills
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 25:OPs develop listening skills Reading from the table above, the majority of students claim that OPs helped them to develop listening skills.17 students (34%) answered with “SA” and 23 students (46%) answered with “A” whereas, 10 students (20%) answered with “D” These finding are interpreted by the fact that most of students are careful listeners to their classmates’OPs, which in turn will develop their ability to take notes, retain information and discuss the topic of the presentation.
Item 26: oral presentations set the class free of traditional teacher-oriented environment
Item 26 SA A SD D Total
N 15 25 1 9 50
% 30 50 2 18 100
Table 26: OPs support learner-centeredness
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 26:OPs support learner -centerdness The analysis of the result reveals that majority of the participants(80%) agree that OPs supports learner centeredness. 15 students (30%) answered with “SA” and 25 of them (50%) answered with “A”. This might be interpreted by the fact that OPs increase students’ participation and reduce teachers’ role in classroom, which will give students a chance to be more active and autonomous learners.
Item 27: oral presentations improved my TD marks
Item 27 SA A SD D Total
N 14 28 0 7 50
% 28 56 0 16 100
Table 27: oral presentations improve TD marks
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 27:OPs improve TD-marks
The results indicate that the majority of students rely on OPs grades to increase their TD marks.28 (14 %students) answered with “SA” and 56 (28% students) answered with “A” whereas, 16 answered with “D”. These findings can be explained by the fact that student rely on OPs to enhance their grades.
Item 28: oral presentations helped me to use PowerPoint appropriately
Item 2_ SA A SD D Total
N 4 30 2 14 50
% 8 60 4 28 100
Table 28: students’ use of power point
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 28:students’use of PowerPoint The table shows that 68 % confirm that OPs helped them to use power point appropriately. 8% (4 students) strongly agreed and 60% (3 students) agreed. Even though 4% strongly disagree and 28% disagree, 68% is a good indicator that third year students integrate visual aids to support their oral presentations. These findings are explained by the fact that students are familiar with PowerPoint presentations.
Item 29: what are the skills you need to learn to improve your oral presentation performance?
Theme 1: speaking skills
According to the answers provided by the respondents, a number of 27 out of 50 students seek to develop their speaking skills including pronunciation grammar and fluency to improve their OP performance. This means that EFL students, at Tebessa University, lack speaking skills, One Student stated that he/she needs to learn how to be fluent without memorization and prior preparation..
Theme 2: attract the audience attention
Attracting the audience attention is a fundamental skill that is required for effective oral presentation. 4 students said that they need to learn how to grab the audience attention and keep them focuse till the end of the presentation.
Theme 3: stress and shyness
Stress and shyness are two factors that hinder students’ performance. The results revealed that 3 respondents said that they need to learn how to overcome both stress and shyness. One student says: “I want to learn how to be calm during my oral presentation because nervousness destroys all what I have prepared and to overcome my shyness”.
Theme 4: facing criticism and questions
2 students out 50 stated that they want to learn how to be confident in facing criticism and questions during oral presentations without fear and stress.
Item 3: Do you think the nature of the subject, you are teaching, requires oral presentations?
Item 4: How do you present your course?
Item 5: Do you feel that your students have positive attitudes towards oral presentation? Why?
Item 6: Can students’ oral presentations achieve the objectives of the lesson?
Item 7: When you evaluate an oral presentation, you focus more on:
Item 8: How would you describe your students during the discussion of oral presentations?
Item 9: Does oral presentation improve students’ level?
Item 10: Describe the things that students need to work on most when creating an oral presentation
Section Two: Discussion, Implications, limitations and Suggestions for Further Research
In this section, we discuss the results of the questionnaires, and relate them to the hypothesis.
As mentioned before, the questionnaire is divided into three sections. The first section was devoted to investigate participants’ opinions and attitudes towards oral presentations. The findings revealed that the majority of the third year EFL students, at Tebessa University, are motivated to deliver OPs as they know the effect of making OPs over the development of their oral proficiency level .This factor (motivation) lead them to develop positive attitudes toward OP projects and consider them as being important to learn English. These findings disprove the research hypotheses that EFL students have negative attitudes towards OPs.
In the second section, the questions aimed at exploring the difficulties students face when delivering an OP. After analyzing the data, it was found that the lack of fluency was among the problems that students face during the presentation. This is may be due to either the lack of vocabulary or bakcground knowledge about the topic. For the majority of students shyness and anxiety were not a problem since, at this level, students are well trained to make OPs.Concerning OPs courses, responses varied ;some consider it as reason behind their low performance and other did not. In addition, both teacher and peer’ interruption affect students’ performance negatively. This means that students easily lose concentration once they are interrupted.
The analysis of the data drawn from section three revealed that OPs have a positive impact on students’ communicative skills. The majority of EFL students confirmed that OPs helped them to become more confident. This means that the more students performe OPs, The more they overcome the fear of making mistakes while speaking in public.Also, OPs are seen an activity that promote interaction and cooperation inside the classroom which will create a safe learning environment. Furthermore, OPs help students to master the use of technology through the integration of visual aids.
2. The implications of the findings
1- The department should include oral presentation courses to teach students presentation skills
2-Teachers should adopt more communicative activities
3Teachers should regularly invite students to take part in class debate and discussion
4- Teachers should rely on oral assessment rather than written assessment
5-The department should regularly organize conferences where students are given the speech
3. Limitations of the study
One limitation of this study is time. Because the study is about oral presentations, it would be better if we have made classroom observation to collect more reliable data about the difficulties students face during oral presentations performance. Another limitation is that is impossible to generalize the results obtained from students’ questionnaire because we have studied only third year students. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize that all EFL students hold positive attitudes towards OPs.
3. Suggestions for further research
The study was limited to third year EFL students at Tebessa University. However, the opinions, attitudes and the difficulties may be different in other levels. The study suggests that an extensive similar study to be carried out in all levels, so as to have a comprehensive report about students’ attitudes towards OPs as a form of assessment.
The study made use of only one instrument for data collection that is the questionnaire. The use of more than one method could be appropriate so as to ensure validity of findings. The study suggests the use of classroom observation to identify the difficulties students face in OPs.