Gauging the Gain in English Oral and Written Communication Skills by Using Authentic Materials of Arab College Students: A Case Study
This case study aimed at gauging the gain in oral and written communication skills for 5 Arab college students through using authentic materials in the United Arab Emirates. An explanatory mixed method design was adopted to achieve the purpose of this case study. At the beginning of the study general information about the participants was collected through using a background questionnaire and a diagnostic test that serves the construction of pre and post-test and the program's content design. In the first phase of the study quantitative means were used by conducting a pre and a posttest after implementation of an extensive program for two months. The second phase of the study featured a collection of qualitative data by means of oral and written documents analysis, video analysis and an anxiety self-report scale analysis, which were randomly selected from the participants' performances during the program. Moreover, along with other qualitative data, a semi-structured interview was conducted with the participants individually to obtain more in-depth rich data that serve in explaining the quantitative data. The results gleaned from the pre and post-test showed that there was a noticeable gain in the oral and written communication. However, the gain in oral communication was more than in the written communication. The qualitative results revealed that the use of authentic materials led to tangible gain in vocabulary, language structures and expressions, gradual decrease in anxiety level, practical and functional use of the language, and positive views towards the use of authentic materials in EFL learning context. The study addressed key issues related to EFL college learners' oral and written communication skills, and it gives some recommendations for EFL instructors, curriculum planning, instructional materials and suggest some implications for future research.