Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges January 2022                  Pp.183-201

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Exploring the Use of WhatsApp for Teaching Speaking to English Language
Learners: A Case Study

Aishah Albogami
English Language Center, Taif University, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author: 

Ghazi Algethami
Foreign Languages Department, Taif University, Saudi Arabia


 Received: 9/2/2021                 Accepted: 12/9/2021              Published: 1/24/2022


Being able to speak or communicate orally is an ultimate goal for most English language learners. Thus, teaching speaking is a main component of the curriculum in most communicative-based English language classrooms. However, teachers struggle to teach speaking in English language classrooms. Two main reasons contribute to this struggle: insufficient time for speaking practice in language classrooms and students’ unwillingness to communicate due to anxiety. Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (ACMC) may have the potential to provide a solution to this difficulty. A widely accessible mobile application that can provide an easily implemented ACMC tool is WhatsApp. The current case study explored the potential use of WhatsApp for teaching English speaking in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. 15 Saudi EFL learners of English were recruited to participate in the present study. A mixed-method approach comprising pre and post-tests, closed-ended questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data for the current study. The findings showed that using WhatsApp can have the potential for improving EFL learners’ speaking performance, increasing their motivation and attitude towards speaking, and decreasing their anxiety and fear of making mistakes when speaking. WhatsApp can provide an effective platform for teaching speaking in an EFL setting where there is a scarcity of time available for oral communication.
Keywords: anxiety, attitude, EFL learners, motivation, speaking, WhatsApp

Cite as:  Albogami, A., & Algethami, G. (2022). Exploring the Use of WhatsApp for Teaching Speaking to English Language Learners: A Case Study.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (2) 183-201.


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Received: 9/2/2021 
Accepted: 12/9/2021   
Published: 1/24/2022

Aishah Albogami is an English language instructor at Taif University English Language Center. She has a Master’s degree in Linguistics. She is interested in the field of teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Ghazi Algethami is an Associate Professor in Linguistics at Taif University. He is interested in second/foreign language speech. In particular, he is interested in how second/foreign language speech is perceived and produced, and what are the factors that may affect learners’ learning of second/foreign language speech (e.g., language use and pronunciation instruction).