TWO HEADS BETTER THAN ONE? PAIR PRESENTATION IN THE EFL CLASSROOM – A PANACEA FOR ANXIETY?

Zsuzsa Tóth

Abstract


While the role of emotions in language learning is getting more and more attention in second language research, relatively few studies have investigated emotions related to specific classroom activities. This mixed-method practitioner research examined tertiary-level EFL learners’ affective reactions to a specific type of oral presentation: the pair presentation. The aim of the study was to examine whether making a classroom presentation feels to be a more positive and less anxiety-provoking experience if done in pairs rather than individually. 33 English Studies students were asked to choose a presentation partner and give a 10-20 minute joint presentation in one of their regular language development classes. Immediately after the talk, they were asked to indicate on two 10-point rating scales how pleasant/unpleasant they felt during the task and how much anxiety they experienced. Additionally, they were invited to reflect on their experiences in greater depth within 24 hours, responding to a set of open questions. The results of the study are discussed in comparison to those of an earlier investigation in the same setting, which focused on the emotional experience of individual presentation (Tóth, 2019). While the numerical findings suggest that presenting with a partner is neither less anxiety-provoking nor a substantially more positive experience, the post-task reflections show that most participants approve of the idea of pair presentation and only a minority of them prefer individual presentation. Providing insights into the complexities of learners’ emotional experiences and the practicalities of how they prepared for the joint presentation, the study sheds light on these conflicting results and has important implications for language teachers.

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Keywords


oral presentation, pair presentation, public speaking, affective factors, emotional reactions, positive and negative emotions, anxiety, task pleasantness, language learning experiences, EFL

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejfl.v5i5.3921

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