AWEJ Volume.5 Number.1, 2014                                                                  Pp. 260-276

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 Investigating the Effects of Structured and Unstructured Tasks on Arab learners of English Oral Performance

Mahes Ali Al-Mahes
The British University in Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Abstract
There is a growing recognition in Arab countries that an ability to communicate effectively in English is a valuable employment skill that goes hand-in-hand with vocational educational programmes. This study invistigates the impact of task structure on Arab learners’ oral performance. A mixed methods approach was used to conduct the study, in which ten students from VEDC foundation school were chosen as a sample. Narrative structured and unstructured tasks were used to test the impact of task structure on learners’ oral performance in terms of fluency, accuracy, and lexical density. The findings indicate that pre-task activity can be a useful tool in improving accuracy and fluency which contributes to the efficacy of the task based learning approach in supporting and developing the key areas of oral proficiency which have significant implications for teaching and learning.
Keywords: TESOL, oral performance, structured tasks, fluency, and accuracy.

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Mahes Ali Al-Mahes is a doctoral candidate of TESOL at the British University in Dubai. He
completed his Masters degree in TESOL from the British University in Dubai in 2012. He is
currently an ESL Instructor at Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute
(ADVETI), UAE. His doctorate research topic is the effectiveness of M-Learning in Education.