Promoting the speaking skill: a comparative study between group work classes in Fujeirah English and Non-English speaking schools

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study mainly investigates the Arab students` speaking behaviour within small group work activities in English and Non-English Speaking Schools (ESS and NESS). The Non-English Speaking Schools here refer to Arab schools. The purpose is to examine whether that speaking behaviour differentiates from a context to another or not and why. Such major issues were explored through this study as the students` oral participation in class, their perspectives towards what they need and what they should do themselves to be competent speakers, as well as their attitudes towards small group work as a motivating approach for speaking. To achieve these objectives a mixed method research paradigm including class observation, questionnaires and interviews was adopted. The point was to cover the topic from all sides and create a superior research. The findings showed a discrepancy in speaking behaviour between the English and Arab group work contexts in terms of the students` oral participation and the teachers` teaching strategies. It was revealed that ESS students have more speaking and critical thinking abilities than students in Arab schools. Also, the findings showed the ESS teachers` more awareness in conducting group work activities than teachers in Arab schools too. However, the role of group work in promoting speaking was determined by all participants.
speaking skill, non-English speaking schools, English speaking schools, Arab students`, attitude, critical thinking