Enhancing EFL Students’ Speaking Proficiency through the Utilization of English Movies

تعزيز كفاءة طلاب اللغة الإنجليزية كلغة أجنبية في التحدث من خلال استخدام الأفلام الإنجليزية

Renforcer la compétence orale des étudiants en anglais langue étrangère grâce à l’utilisation des films en anglais

Nouar Assia

p. 261-270

Nouar Assia, « Enhancing EFL Students’ Speaking Proficiency through the Utilization of English Movies », Aleph, Vol 11 (1) | 2024, 261-270.

Nouar Assia, « Enhancing EFL Students’ Speaking Proficiency through the Utilization of English Movies », Aleph [], Vol 11 (1) | 2024, 10 January 2024, 19 June 2024. URL : https://aleph.edinum.org/10890

The undeniable correlation between listening and speaking underscores the notion that proficient listeners often manifest prowess in spoken communication. Consequently, the extensive exposure to English movies plays a pivotal role in enhancing the speaking skills of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners, providing them with an avenue to surmount linguistic challenges. The technological advancements in the form of digital videos, English films, and the ubiquity of video-streaming platforms have made movies readily accessible for language learning purposes, contributing to the evolution of EFL. This research delves into the significance of watching movies as a means to address speaking difficulties. Conducted with thirty-five EFL university students pursuing Master’s degrees at Ziane Achour University, Djelfa, this study employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, utilizing questionnaires and interviews to construct a comprehensive framework. The data analysis emphasizes that watching English movies is a pivotal factor in overcoming challenges associated with fluent English speaking.

Il est crucial d’affirmer l’existence d’une relation solide entre l’écoute et la parole, au point que de nombreux universitaires s’accordent sur l’idée que de bons auditeurs sont également de bons orateurs. Ainsi, regarder des films en anglais a un impact considérable sur les compétences orales des apprenants EFL, leur offrant l’opportunité de surmonter les obstacles liés à la parole. L’avancement de l’anglais en tant que langue étrangère, facilité par l’utilisation de la technologie, notamment le développement de vidéos numériques, de films en anglais et la popularisation des sites de streaming vidéo, rend les films facilement accessibles à des fins d’apprentissage linguistique. Cette recherche examine la valeur de regarder des films pour surmonter les difficultés de la parole. Menée auprès de trente-cinq étudiants universitaires EFL (Master) à l’Université Ziane Achour, Djelfa, dans le département des langues étrangères, cette étude utilise des paramètres quantitatifs et qualitatifs, mettant en œuvre des questionnaires et des entretiens pour construire un cadre approfondi. L’analyse des données souligne que regarder des films en anglais est un élément crucial pour surmonter les défis liés à la prise de parole en anglais de manière fluide.

من الأمور البديهية القول بأن هناك علاقة وثيقة بين الاستماع والتحدث لدرجة أن الأشخاص الذين يتمتعون بمهارات استماع جيدة يُعرفون عادةً بأنهم متحدثون بارعون. وبناءً على هذا المنظور، يعتبر الغمر الواسع في مشاهدة الأفلام الإنجليزية دورًا حيويًا في تعزيز مهارات التحدث لدى متعلمي اللغة الإنجليزية كلغة أجنبية، مما يمنحهم فرصة للتغلب على تحديات التحدث باللغة. وقد ساهم التقدم التكنولوجي في تطوير مقاطع الفيديو الرقمية والأفلام الإنجليزية وشهرة مواقع بث الفيديو في توفير الأفلام بشكل متاح لأغراض تعلم اللغة، مما يسهم في تطور اللغة الإنجليزية كلغة أجنبية. تركز هذه الورقة البحثية على أهمية مشاهدة الأفلام كوسيلة للتغلب على صعوبات التحدث. تم إجراء هذا الاستفسار مع خمسة وثلاثين طالبًا جامعيًا يتابعون درجة الماجستير في جامعة زيان عاشور بالجلفة، حيث تم استخدام منهجيات كمية ونوعية، بما في ذلك الاستبيانات والمقابلات لبناء إطار شامل حول هذا الموضوع الأساسي. أظهر تحليل البيانات أن التحدي الأساسي للتحدث بالإنجليزية بطلاقة يمكن أن يعتمد بشكل خاص على مشاهدة الأفلام باللغة الإنجليزية.

Introduction

Undoubtedly, the English language holds the status of a “Lingua Franca,” serving as the primary means of communication on a global scale. Its unprecedented advancement can be attributed to the rapid progress of Technology and Globalization, permeating across borders. Notably, for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students, achieving fluency and spontaneity in spoken English stands as their paramount objective. The dynamic landscape of English teaching, marked by continual change, reforms, and the pervasive influence of multimedia, particularly English movies and films, has progressively integrated into the daily learning routines of students. This integration has yielded positive outcomes, particularly in enhancing students’ listening and speaking skills. Consequently, this prompts the researcher to reevaluate assumptions and postulations that cater to the speaking proficiency needs of second language (L2) learners.

It is essential to underscore that prolonged exposure to English movies significantly contributes to students’ language acquisition. This phenomenon is underpinned by the intrinsic connection between listening and speaking skills. When engaging with movies featuring native speakers, students’ listening comprehension faculties operate subconsciously, facilitating the assimilation of new vocabulary and expressions. This process not only enriches their lexicon but also contributes to refining their pronunciation, articulation, and intonation. Thus, the researcher posits that English films empower students to cultivate their oral proficiency, enabling them to unleash their communicative potential across diverse domains.

From this vantage point, it becomes evident that English movies serve as a catalyst for the development of oral communication skills, offering students a platform to realize their capabilities comprehensively. In essence, the primary objective of this research paper is to elucidate the pivotal role played by English movies in reassessing and augmenting learners’ sociability within academic settings. This is approached as a pragmatic strategy for fully harnessing their oral competence and capacities, intertwined with cultural nuances, enjoyment, and confidence.

1. Review of Literature

1.1 The Significance of Achieving a Balance Between Listening and Speaking Skills

In the exploration of the impact of English movies on students’ comprehension and speaking skills, it becomes imperative to delve into the intricate relationship between listening and speaking within the context of second language (L2) acquisition. The foundation of L2 students’ ability to develop proficient speaking skills lies intricately in their capacity to harness listening input. The output hypothesis theory posits that comprehending a language and articulating it fluently is contingent upon decoding language forms not yet secured by learners, aided by contextual information within language study input. This process, facilitated during the consumption of English movies, leverages both visual and auditory inputs, thereby engaging various sensory organs to assimilate information. Consequently, this integration constructs meaningful knowledge, enhancing learners’ listening comprehension and, by extension, fostering spontaneous speaking abilities.

The input hypothesis theory, as advanced by the American linguist Krashen, underscores the notion that language acquisition transpires when learners gain access to language input, emphasizing comprehension of meaning or information over mere structural understanding. The formula “i +1” encapsulates this principle, with ’i’ representing the current language proficiency level and ’1’ symbolizing language materials slightly more challenging than the learner’s current proficiency.

Therefore, in accordance with the input hypothesis theory, decoding language forms that have not yet been mastered by learners under the influence of contextual information in language study input is identified as a plausible pathway toward language acquisition.

1.2 The Impact of English Movies on the Development of EFL Speaking Skills

It is noteworthy that the influence of English movies extends beyond merely enhancing listening and speaking skills, encompassing the creation of an immersive environment that mirrors real-world situations and exposes second language (L2) students to the authentic culture of the language. The incorporation of English movies into the learning milieu offers a genuine language environment replete with visuals, narratives, and performances, heightening the vividness of the linguistic experience. Consequently, students gain profound insights into the language and its cultural nuances. The simplicity of language usage and the brevity of sentences in such movies facilitate ease of comprehension, enabling students to not only develop a linguistic sensibility but also refine their tone and intonation. The repetition of learned or novel words, phrases, and sentences leaves a lasting imprint on learners, cultivating sustained interest and deepening their understanding of the target language’s cultural intricacies.

English movies, therefore, play a pivotal role in aiding students’ oral expression by rectifying inaccuracies in tone and intonation. Phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary, as foundational elements of a language, converge with tone and intonation, forming the cornerstone of English language acquisition. The correct application of tone and intonation acquired through movie-watching significantly contributes to proficient oral communication, facilitating the exchange of ideas with clarity. The accurate pronunciation embedded in movies serves as a consistent model for L2 students, who, through subconscious emulation, refine their oral skills.

Moreover, the theory of Dual Code posits that the amalgamation of language and non-language systems surpasses solitary or nonverbal language systems in enhancing and deepening memory. Consequently, the integration of watching and listening, as offered by movies, yields a more effective and efficient memory retention compared to isolated listening and speaking exercises.

In essence, the act of watching movies emerges as a foundational practice in developing oral proficiency, acting as a conduit for memory accumulation. As learners engage with films, their memory works subconsciously to register words and sounds, influencing the Broca and Wernicke areas. This process allows students to employ their stored vocabulary, acquired during the viewing of English movies, in their oral expressions.

2. Research Methodology

2.1 Thesis Statements and Hypotheses

The study was conducted at Ziane Achour University of Djelfa, Department of English, involving thirty-five (35) Master’s Degree EFL university students. The overarching aim was to address the following research questions:

  1. Do English movies contribute to the development of students’ speaking skills?

  2. How do English movies influence students’ motivation and inclination towards language learning?

The study formulated two hypotheses:

  1. The role of watching movies is pivotal in the learning process, significantly contributing to students’ achievements.

  2. EFL students’ proficiency in speaking can be substantially enhanced through the medium of watching English movies.

To assess these hypotheses, the researcher utilized questionnaires and interviews with both teachers and students to gauge the impact of movies on students’ oral competences. The findings, drawn from these data collection instruments, provided insights into the positive effects of English movies on the vocabulary enrichment, cultural awareness, and pronunciation correction reported by L2 undergraduates. Additionally, EFL teachers acknowledged the efficacy of English movies in fostering speaking skills and cultivating a motivational factor in students.

The study employed a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze and interpret the collected data. This investigation was conducted within EFL classes at Ziane Achour University of Djelfa, with teachers utilizing various practices such as exposing students to short films, videos, and assigning questions related to specific movies for home-based viewing. These activities were designed to enhance listening and speaking skills, contributing to the overall progress of oral expression.

2.2 Results and Discussion

The experimental phase sought to validate the study’s hypotheses, emphasizing the potential improvement in learners’ participation, interaction, and English communication through heightened exposure to English movies. The subsequent analysis of responses from both teachers and students aimed to substantiate the assertions made in the hypotheses and address the central inquiry of the research.

The outcomes of the analysis affirm that frequent exposure to English movies significantly elevates the students’ oral proficiency, manifesting in improved oral presentations and increased daily participation. Both the analysis of teachers’ questionnaires and students’ responses underscored the effectiveness of incorporating movies and films in EFL classes. This pedagogical strategy emerged as a decisive factor fostering student satisfaction, cultural awareness, and native language integration, ultimately promoting spontaneous language use and alleviating stress and anxiety during self-expression.

In conclusion, the research findings align with the formulated hypotheses, highlighting the substantial impact of English movies on the enhancement of EFL students’ oral competences. The integration of movies into language learning environments is depicted as a dynamic and effective pedagogical approach, offering multifaceted benefits to students’ linguistic and cultural development.

Figure N° 1. The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Figure N° 1. The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Table 1: The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Strongly Agree

 %

Agree

 %

Disagree

 %

Strongly Disagree

 %

Watching movies provide students with a lot of vocabulary.

15

42.85 %

15

42.85 %

05

14.28 %

00

00 %

Movies presented in the target language help learners correct their pronunciation, tone, intonation, and peach.

10

28.57 %

20

57.14 %

05

14.28 %

00

00 %

Implementing movies inside EFL classrooms creates motivation and satisfaction.

06

17.14 %

17

48.57 %

12

21.05 %

00

00 %

Watching English movies for a long time help students speak the language.

10

28.57 %

22

62.85 %

03

8.57 %

00

00 %

The data presented in the table and figure above unequivocally illustrate the positive impressions held by English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students regarding the impact of watching movies on their speaking skills. The majority of respondents, constituting approximately 85.70% of the study population, concurred that watching movies significantly influences their speaking proficiency. This consensus is rooted in the belief that engaging with cinematic content serves as a formidable tool in overcoming speaking challenges, aiding in the acquisition of correct pronunciation and tone.

Specifically, a substantial 85.70% of the participants, totaling 30 students, asserted that “Watching movies provide students with a lot of vocabulary,” whereas a minority of 14.28%, represented by five students, expressed dissent on this matter. This resounding agreement underscores the consensus that movies play a pivotal role in enhancing vocabulary, thereby facilitating expressive communication in the language.

Examining the impact of movies on the refinement of pronunciation, tone, intonation, and speech, a noteworthy 85.71% of students, comprising 28.57% strongly agreeing and 57.14% expressing agreement, affirmed the positive influence of movies in this domain. Merely 14.28%, or five students, dissented on this aspect. This collective affirmation underscores the assertion that movies contribute significantly to the improvement of pronunciation, tone, intonation, and overall speech proficiency, enabling students to articulate English expressions comprehensibly.

Furthermore, the study delved into the psychological aspects associated with the integration of movies in English learning and teaching. A majority of 65.75% of students acknowledged that implementing this method within the classroom creates a motivational atmosphere that fosters satisfaction, consequently reducing stress and anxiety levels. However, a subset of 21.05% found this approach to be tedious and time-consuming, asserting that it lacks impact. Their rationale centered on the perception that watching movies is perceived as chaotic and consumes excessive time without delivering tangible benefits.

In conclusion, the investigation aimed to test hypotheses concerning the value of watching movies in enhancing students’ speaking abilities. The overwhelming majority of respondents, totaling 91.42%, emphatically claimed that exposure to English movies, films, and short videos positively contributes to the development of their speaking skills, particularly when featuring their favorite actors and actresses. This robust affirmation attests to the perceived efficacy of incorporating cinematic content as a pedagogical tool for enhancing spoken language proficiency among EFL students.

Table 2 : EFL teachers’ impression about using movies as a means for bettering students’ speaking skills.

Yes

 %

No

 %

Watching movies help your students correct their pronunciations.

10

83.33 %

02

16.66 %

Watching movies presented in the target language help students overcome their speaking difficulties.

08

66.66 %

04

33.33 %

It is by the means of watching movies that teachers can motivate his students and let them participate in the class

09

75 %

03

25 %

Figure. 2 : EFL teachers’ impression about using movies as a means for bettering students’ speaking skills.

Figure. 2 : EFL teachers’ impression about using movies as a means for bettering students’ speaking skills.

Table and Figure 2 distinctly illustrate that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors ardently endorse the practice of watching movies to enhance the oral performance of their students. The data from both the table and figure pertaining to the first question reveal that a significant majority of EFL teachers, accounting for 83.33%, affirm that movies contribute to the correction of their students’ pronunciation. Additionally, a noteworthy 66.66% of teachers assert that they observed an enhancement in their students’ speaking abilities through the incorporation of movies into the curriculum, effectively aiding them in overcoming speaking challenges. Furthermore, 75% of the study population expressed satisfaction with the utilization of movies in the classroom, contending that it facilitated student participation and question responses, thus facilitating the transmission of information in an engaging manner and fostering a lively, motivational atmosphere.

Recommendations

The following recommendations are derived from insights gained during the study, considering feedback from participants and experts:

  1. EFL teachers and learners should judiciously select movies aligned with students’ needs.

  2. The utility of watching movies extends beyond addressing speaking difficulties; it also enhances cultural understanding, intensifying language usage.

  3. Movies offer students the ability to absorb a substantial language input, enabling a comprehensive grasp of themes.

  4. Learners should engage with movies featuring their favorite actors, as this implicit exposure aids spontaneous language acquisition.

Conclusion

This study aimed to identify strategies for EFL students to overcome speaking challenges. Analysis of data gathered from students and teachers revealed that the technique of watching movies positively impacted students’ task interest, collaborative learning, academic self-concept, motivation, and performance. The results demonstrate that this method contributes to the improvement of speaking abilities, corrects language usage, and fosters familiarity with the target language. In conclusion, the hypotheses posited in the study are affirmed, emphasizing the profound impact of English movies on students’ developmental learning processes. The incorporation of movies into EFL classrooms proves to be a vibrant and intuitive pedagogical approach, enriching cultural connotations, correcting pronunciation, and promoting cross-cultural communication. The research contributes to the literature by validating the value of watching English movies in assisting EFL students in overcoming speaking impediments.

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Figure N° 1. The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Figure N° 1. The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Table 1: The students’ opinion about using movies for the sake of developing their speaking skill.

Figure. 2 : EFL teachers’ impression about using movies as a means for bettering students’ speaking skills.

Figure. 2 : EFL teachers’ impression about using movies as a means for bettering students’ speaking skills.

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