The Impact of Teacher Speech Modification on the Quality of Interaction and Learning: An Analysis of Spoken Discourse in Saudi EFL Classrooms

Hanaa Al-Ghamdi, Abdullah Al-Bargi


The purpose of this study is to investigate, following a qualitative research design, the ways in which English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers modify their speech in an endeavor to create interactive learning environments facilitated by the implementation of strategies providing inherently comprehensible input for students. The study also seeks to examine students’ reactions to the use of such different speech modification strategies. The data gathered was taken from three different EFL classrooms with a total of sixty-two university students (forty male and twenty-two female) and three non-native speakers (NNS) of English language teachers. The data analysis reveals that EFL teachers regularly modify their talk through the use of different linguistic and interactional strategies in the Saudi EFL context, including the use of simplified grammar and vocabulary, shorter sentences, repetition, and emphatic stress and reduced speech rate. Other modification strategies include the use of clarification requests, confirmation checks, transition markers and hand gestures in order to facilitate student understanding and learning. The data analysis also suggests that teachers’ modification strategies have a positive impact on language learners in accelerating their comprehension and developing their classroom interaction. The study results provide valuable implications for foreign language classroom pedagogy and teacher training.

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