Author(s): Salah Assaf; Kamariah Yunus
Abstract: Extemporaneous speech is one of the main natural forms of public speaking, exercising students to speak in public with little preparation. Many English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners, especially those at Al-Quds Open University have difficulty to speak spontaneously in front of the public due to their inability to speak, rooting from their lack of speaking proficiency. Due to the students’ lack of competence in extemporaneous speech, the researcher aimed to investigate the English language undergraduates’ engagement in an extemporaneous speech at the English Language and Literature Department of the university. The researcher employed the qualitative approach to gain profound knowledge and understanding of the research problem. The researcher selected a purposive sampling to collect and analyze the required data for efficient usage of the resources. The observation was performed on a selected class of ‘Language Use’ course, consisted of 35 students, at the English language and Literature Department at Al-Quds Open University, Palestine, to explore students’ engagement in extemporaneous speech. Then, five students of the same class were interviewed by the researcher to check and examine how much extent do extemporaneous speech develops students’ abilities in speaking skills. The researcher utilized the Analytical Field Notes and Thematic Analysis to analyze the collected data. The findings of the study indicated that undergraduate English language major students engaged pleasantly and positively in extemporaneous speech. Also, they had positive views, perspectives and beliefs towards engaging in extemporaneous speech represented by their active participation and their willingness to share and participate in this activity. The findings also showed that students found their speaking abilities are improved and developed based on their experiences in extemporaneous speech. They indicated that they could speak more fluently, their utterances are increased and developed, and they could speak freely in front of their peers and instructor. Furthermore, students’ self-confidence is reinforced according to their experiences and beliefs.
Keywords: Qualitative, Interview, extemporaneous speech, engagement, Al-Quds Open University
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