Malaysian Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Online Approach via Skype in Developing Speaking Skills
Keywords:Skype, Speaking Skills, Online Platforms, Perceptions, Malaysian Undergradu-ates
Speaking skill pedagogy has always remained a huge enigma for English as a Second Language (ESL) educators. Despite the challenges, the need to master the skills prevail in academia. The undergraduates especially those from the technical division seem to grapple with the ability to perform well in their studies and market their products upon employment due to the inability to communicate well in English. Nowadays, there are numerous platforms available for ESL learners to improve their speaking proficiency. Thus, this paper intended to study the effectiveness of using Skype as an online platform to help students enhance their confidence in speaking in English. 100 reflective journals of first year undergraduates who enrolled in an English course were collected. Meanwhile, 10 undergraduates were randomly selected to participate in the semi-structured interview. All the participants’ reflections and views were analyzed and thematized using Transana software. Four main themes emerged: account possession; familiarity; challenges; and features. It was found that many participants were aware of Skype but did not have the account prior to the study. Majority of the participants admitted that Skype activities helped them to converse better which enhanced their motivation to speak in English more confidently and fluently.
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