This study explores the effects of embedded summary writing, a form of rehearsal before the oral production, on easing English language learners’ speaking-related anxiety and improving their speaking competence in a computer-based testing (CBT) environment. A web-based language training and testing platform was developed to integrate summary writing with online speaking tests. Using a quasi-experimental research approach, 50 university students in a 16 week course of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were randomly assigned into the experimental class and the controlled class. For the experimental class, students were required to complete an embedded summary writing task before taking the online speaking tests every week as a regular classroom activity. For students in the controlled class, the embedded summary writing was an optional task before the online speaking tests. Based on the independent T test of quantitative data from questionnaire feedback, the findings indicated that the embedded summary writing was beneficial for improving the students’ oral production and enabled them to be more familiar with prior language input, which further reduced their level of anxiety in the follow-up speaking tasks in a CBT environment. More interestingly, the one-way ANCOVA analysis of the students’ oral production in the pre- and post-tests showed that those in the experimental class outperformed those in the controlled class in their oral production. The study sheds light on the potential of embedded summary writing in reducing EFL learners’ speaking-related anxiety as well as improving their oral performance in a CBT environment.
Journal of Computers in Education – Springer Journals
Published: May 19, 2018
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