THE USE OF MULTI-MEDIA INSTRUCTION IN ALLEVIATING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ PUBLIC SPEAKING APPREHENSION

Aguilar, Judith Mae O., Ong, Elizabeth E., Reyes, Jenelly J., Ruiz, Cheryl C.

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Adviser:
Santos, Albert A.

Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus

INTRODUCTION

Expressing one’s message may be in the form of communication; verbal or non- verbal. Everyone could convey messages through the use of speaking or communication skills but not everyone could speak what is ought to deliver in front of public. Speaking in private is different from speaking in front of many eyes watching over you. As Korpella, 2011 pointed out that the presence of other people monitoring one’s speech is a potential cause for communication apprehension. There is a sudden strong feeling inside the heart that makes someone feel uneasy and nervous. When speaking in public, there is a tension that makes the heart raced in an abnormal rate which causes stuttering or speaking anxiety. Public speaking anxiety does not merely felt when delivering a speech in front people but also even on simple situations. According to Sheldon Metcalfe in the study Building Speech Wadsworth (2010), public speaking anxiety even outranked such fears as going to the dentist, heights, mice and flying. It can be felt even if you are just communicating on a normal and simple conversation but with people that surround you.

English is the universal language where many countries in the world are eager to learn as if it is their native language. English as a foreign language is difficult to deal with especially when it will be using as a medium for communication. English learners are likely to adapt the appropriate diction, pronunciation and proper communication using the foreign language. But this is not as easy as it is when communication apprehension barge in. According to National Association of Software and Services Company (NASSCOM) President Karnik (2007), only 25 percent of technical graduates are suitable for employment in the outsourcing because of their lack of abilities to speak or write well in English. Most students are not “industry ready” because they lack communication skills. (Infosys, 2008). Through this, we could say that learning English and be able to speak the language has a big impact not just on the learners but also to the society.

This research will figure out the driving forces that trigger one’s ability to communicate and deliver message in public using the target language which is English. It will show the possible sources of public speaking anxiety and communication apprehension that hinders English learners to convey messages using the English language in the public. However, the possible and potential treatment is still to be investigated and studied by the researchers. The relationship between communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety are complementary to each other.

METHODOLOGY

The researchers used a quantitative method of gathering intrapersonal and interpersonal information about the person being test on the problem that ascends.

According to Matthews & Ross (2010), “Quantitative research methods are basically applied to the collection of data that is structured and which could be represented numerically.” Quantitative data is collected when researcher has adopted the positivist epistemological approach which implies the cause-effect approach based on measurements.

Population of the study
The researchers used a non-randomized experimental research on choosing the subjects – people in the researchers’ experiment usually applied in a quantitative method. The subjects of this study included fifty-four (54) third year students from the three sections of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus.

Research Instruments
The researchers used a 17-item revised and final standardized test by the Public Speaking Classroom Anxiety Scale (PSCAS) of the School of Foreign Language Institute of Social Technology Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand in gathering personal information about the problem which is being investigated. The researchers also used Virtual Reality Glasses as a tool for investigation which includes a modified video for testing done by the researchers.

Data Gathering Procedure
The Researchers distributed the Standardized test using one of classifications of the Probability Sampling which is simple random sampling, and under this is the Lottery Method. The researchers draw the desired number of sample from the container. The researchers randomly pick half of the class of 3rd year English majors of the College of Education of Bulacan State University Bustos Campus which can be assured that they answered each statement truthfully.

Data Processing
The researchers used a Likert-Type Scale in gathering the responses of the subjects of the study. Likert-Type Scale is a five to seven point scale which is used to allow the individual to express how much they agree or disagree with a particular statement.

The engagement of the Virtual Reality Glasses was conducted to the students who were evidently found to have a public speaking apprehension. The researchers created a modified video which includes several activities or tasks that will alleviate the students’ public speaking apprehension and that will uplift their confidence.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The study focused on the use of multi-media instruction in alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension before and after watching the video using the virtual reality glasses.

Table 1. The Result of the Pre-test
Statement Mean VI
I never feel quite sure of myself while I am speaking English. 3.39 U
I start to panic when I have to speak English without a preparation in advance. 3.65 U
In a speaking class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 3.67 U
I feel confident while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I get nervous and confused when I am speaking English. 3.46 U
I am afraid that other students will laugh at me while I am speaking English. 3.63 U
I get nervous when the English teacher asks me to speak English which I have prepared in advance. 3.37 U
I have no fear of speaking English. 3.11 U
I can feel my heart pounding when I am going to be called on. 3.76 A
I feel relaxed while I am speaking English. 3.17 U
It embarrasses me to volunteer to go out first to speak English. 3.35 U
I face the prospect of speaking English with confidence. 3.28 U
Certain parts of my body feel very tense and rigid while I am speaking English. 3.46 U
I feel anxious while I am waiting to speak English. 3.31 U
I dislike using my voice and body expressively while I am speaking English. 3.15 U
I have trouble to coordinate my movements while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
Even if I am very well prepared, I feel anxious about speaking English. 3.44 U
Average Mean 3.40 U
Legend: 1.0-1.8= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.9-2.7= Disagree (D);
2.8-3.6= Undecided (U); 3.7-4.5= Agree (A); 4.6-5.0= Strongly Agree (SA)

The table 1 shows the result of the pre-test that was conducted in order to test the public speaking apprehension of the students. It clearly showed from the data that most of the students are undecided if they have a fear in speaking in front of the public. According to the study of Cornwell, Johnson, Berardi, ; Grillon (2006), many people experience low level distress prior to and at the beginning of a public oration, while others experience high levels throughout the speech and continue to be distressed well after it has concluded. Also, Strahan (2003) contends, there is some evidence that students who suffer from high levels of social anxiety may use more passive coping skills and that some students report poor grades for tutorial participation and avoiding units where oral presentations are required. At the extreme, anxiety in public speaking situations can be specified as a form of social anxiety disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) in which fear of negative evaluation is a core aspect.

Table 2. The Result of Post-Test
Statement Mean VI
Even if I am very well prepared, I feel anxious about speaking English. 3.50 U
I have trouble to coordinate my movements while I am speaking English. 3.40 U
I dislike using my voice and body expressively while I am speaking English. 2.70 D
I feel anxious while I am waiting to speak English. 3.50 U
Certain parts of my body feel very tense and rigid while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I face the prospect of speaking English with confidence. 3.30 U
It embarrasses me to volunteer to go out first to speak English. 3.40 U
I feel relaxed while I am speaking English. 3.10 U
I have no fear of speaking English. 2.80 U
I can feel my heart pounding when I am going to be called on. 3.30 U
I get nervous when the English teacher asks me to speak English which I have prepared in advance. 3.00 U
I am afraid that other students will laugh at me while I am speaking English. 3.80 A
I get nervous and confused when I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I feel confident while I am speaking English. 2.70 D
In a speaking class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 3.40 U
I start to panic when I have to speak English without a preparation in advance. 3.40 U
I never feel quite sure of myself while I am speaking English. 3.10 U
Average Mean 3.24 U
Legend: 1.0-1.8= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.9-2.7= Disagree (D);
2.8-3.6= Undecided (U); 3.7-4.5= Agree (A); 4.6-5.0= Strongly Agree (SA)

The table 2 shows the result of the post-test that was conducted after the use of virtual reality glasses in order to know if there is a change in the level of public speaking apprehension of the students. The data shows that the students are still undecided if they have fear of public speaking but it shows that there is a change after having the intervention as the average mean drops down from 3.40 to 3.24. According to Lucas (2011), “Many people who converse easily in all kinds of everyday situations become frightened at the idea of standing up before a group to make a speech”. Verderber, Sellnow and Verderber (2011) state, “Public speaking, a sustained formal presentation by a speaker to an audience, is simply one form of human communication. So learning to be an effective public speaker will help you to bemore effective in other communication settings as well”. Weissman (2012) explains the reasons why some speakers speak faster when they face the audience. He writes that when a presenter comes in front of an audience, the pressure of the situation prompts adrenaline rush which produces time warp that causes the presenter to speak fast. He further says that this can be overcome by using pauses and lubricants, which allow more time to the audience to process the information and also gives the speaker enough time to phrase another sentence.

Table 3. The Results of the software evaluation as perceived
by students, English teachers and computer teachers
ITEM STATEMENTS STUDENT ENGLISH TEACHER COMPUTER TEACHER COMBINED MEAN
CONTENT MEAN VI MEAN VI MEAN VI MEAN VI
1. The content is accurate and factual. 3.70 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.34 SA
2. The content is educationally appropriate. 3.90 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.52 SA
3. The content is free of errors. 3.30 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.21 A
4. The content meets your learning goals and objectives. 3.60 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.64 SA
5. The content is free of stereotypes and cultural bias. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.61 SA
6. The content meets the school’s standards. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.39 SA
DOCUMENTATION AND SUPPORT
1. The teacher/ instructor manual is clear and thorough. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
2. The software has a support number. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.39 SA
3. Online technical support is available. 3.60 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.31 SA
4. Help tutorials are clear and easy to use. 3.70 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.57 SA
ABILITY LEVELS
1. The ability level can be set by the teacher. 3.70 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.68 SA
2. The ability level automatically advances. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.33 SA 3.28 SA
3. The software covers a variety of ability/skill levels. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.67 SA 3.39 SA
ASSESSMENT
1. Software has built-in assessment and reporting tools. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.33 SA 3.28 SA
2. Assessment methods are appropriate and suited to learning objectives. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
3. Software documents and records student progress. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.00 A 3.17 A
4. Teachers can assess students’ progress easily by evaluating progress reports. 3.70 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.34 SA
TECHNICAL QUALITY
1. Animation and graphics are used well. 3.90 SA 4.00 SA 3.67 SA 3.86 SA
2. Audio voice input/output) is used well. 3.80 SA 4.00 SA 4.00 SA 3.93 SA
3. Feedback and prompts are appropriate. 3.60 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.64 SA
4. The application allows branching and chunking. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.61 SA
EASE OF USE
1. Direction is clear. 3.80 SA 4.00 SA 4.00 SA 3.93 SA
2. Students can exit the program at any time. 3.60 SA 3.33 SA 3.67 SA 3.53 SA
3. Students can restart the program where they stopped. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
4. The software is reliable and free of disruption system errors. 3.30 SA 3.33 SA 3.33 SA 3.32 SA
Sub Mean 3.62 SA 3.52 SA 3.39 SA 3.51 SA
GRAND MEAN 3.51 SA
Legend: 1.00-1.75= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.76-2.50= Disagree (D);
2.51-3.25= Agree (A); 3.26-4.00= Strongly Agree (SA)
The table 3 shows the result of the comparison of the evaluation of three variables on the software. To validate the pre-test and post-test, we conducted the survey to 10 students of the Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus, 2 English teachers and 1 Technical teacher from the Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus, 1 English teacher and 1 Technical teacher from Bunsuran National High School and 1 Technical Teacher from Banga High School. The students rated an average mean of 3.62 which interpreted as strongly agree. The English teachers yielded an average mean of 3.52 and is interpreted as strongly agree while the Technical teachers rated and yielded an average mean of 3.39 which also interpreted as strongly agree. The average mean from the evaluation of the three variables rated 3.51.

Result of Significant Difference between the Pretest and Post test score
To get the results if there is significant difference between the levels of public speaking apprehension before and after the use of the Virtual Reality Glasses the researchers used F – test. The table below shows the result of F – test using Microsoft excel.

Table 4. F computed used F-Test Two-Sample for Variance
Variable Mean F Value F critical Decision
Pre-Test 4.04 0.33779777 0.31457491 Reject
Post-Test 3.68666667
? = 0.05

The computed F value is 0.337797771 is greater than the critical value of 0.314574906. The result suggests the rejection of null hypothesis and the acceptance of the alternative hypothesis. This means that there is a significant difference between the students’ level of public speaking apprehension before and after the intervention. The result implied that the intervention in the form of Virtual Reality Glasses is found to be an effective tool in aiding their public speaking apprehension. A study from Kirkwood and Melton (2002) states that anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders encountered by public speakers. Sjoberg (2006) suggests that learners, who lack confidence, need encouragement in the initial phase of learning so that they could be encouraged to participate in the class.

Conclusion
On the basis of the findings and tests applied in of this study, the researchers’ conclusion is that most of the third year English Language learners’ of Bulacan State – University – Bustos Campus are having a hard time when it comes to public speaking especially when using the English language. Public Speaking apprehension is one of the major problems that the English language learners encountered. Based on the data and results that the researchers gathered we could say that using the virtual reality as a tool cannot completely remove the public speaking apprehension but rather lessen with constant practice and gaining self-confidence with the use of virtual reality as a therapy. Based on the result of pre-test and post- test, we therefore conclude that the use of multimedia such as virtual reality in alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension cannot eradicate without the accomplice of willingness, obedience and patience in overcoming such anxiety.

Recommendations
Based on the results and data gathered, the researchers arrived with the following recommendations for the future assessment of alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension.
1. Constant practice in using the English language in front of the people should be applied in lessening the public speaking apprehension.
2. Use virtual reality continuously as a tool for therapy.
3. Teachers should give exercises which will enhance the communication skills of the English language learners.
4. Use multimedia that will develop self-confidence, English speaking skills and Language proficiency such as virtual Reality.
5. Performances such as Reporting, Acting Workshop, Drama and Play can also be applied to fully overcome such public speaking apprehension.