Uzbek students tend to use Uzbek speech patterns or styles when speaking English. Some will not speak out because they are afraid of making mistakes and are embarrassed. However, the current era of technological revolution and the explosion of knowledge has witnessed a tremendous progress in the field of information technology. Indeed, modern technology has transformed the world into a small global village. This development is reflected in many fields, but the field which benefited a lot is education. Therefore, Information Communication Techniques are increasingly integrating into our daily lives. They are changing the way we live, the way we spend our spare time and the way we work. They are known by other terms such as teaching and instructional aides. These include the use of slide projector, television, radio, and videos etc.
Hence, the present research study will shed light on this new concept in education and investigate the use and effect of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in general and in teaching speaking more particularly.
Some teachers of English at Universities and schools still teach with the traditional methods which are not bad or damaging the students but they make them not motivated, and do not participate in the classroom. So, learners prefer to study by using modern methods such as videos and computers that help them be motivated and thus would positively affect their oral production.
We would like to help our students to be confident when speaking English. This study is so important as it investigates the improvement of the use of ICT in teaching the speaking skill in a way that motivates learners and attracts their attention. And also it helps the teacher to better prepare the lesson.
This article reviews studies of the importance of speaking skill, awareness raising, positive attitude and motivation that affect learners’ acquisition, and discusses how language learning strategies help learners improve their speaking abilities in the target language and lead to confidence in communication.
Speaking is one of the macro skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). It is the means through which learners can communicate with others to achieve certain goals or to express their opinions, intentions, hopes and viewpoints. Speaking is necessary for effective communication in any language, particularly when speakers are not using their mother tongue. As English is universally used as a means of communication, especially in the internet world, English speaking skills should be developed along with the other skills so that these integrated skills will enhance communication achievement both with native speakers of English and other members of the international community. This chapter deals about the speaking skill which is an important element in learning a foreign language and the role of accuracy and fluency to be good speakers. Moreover, it investigates students‟ difficulties such as inhibition and mother tongue use. Finally, it examines also the techniques and strategies used to promote students speaking skill.
Speaking is the productive skill in oral mode. It is more complicated than it seems at first, and it involves more than just pronouncing words. In this respect, it has been defined by various researchers. According to Webster (1980, p.517 as cited in Rayhan, 2014), speaking has a variety of meanings. First, it is to tell, to say, to make known or as by speaking, to declare, to announce. Second, it is to proclaim, to celebrate. And third, it is to use or to be able to use a given language in speaking.
According to Trigon et al. (1998 as cited in Rayhan, 2014, p. 517), speaking is a skill of conveying words or sounds of articulation to express or to deliver ideas, opinions, or feelings. Likewise, Byrne (1986 as cited in Rayhan, 2014, p. 517) states: “Oral communication (or speaking) is a two way process between the speaker and the listener and it involves the productive skill of speaking and the receptive skill of understanding. This means that speaking is a process of sharing with another person`s knowledge, interests, attitudes, opinions, ideas or feelings which are important aspects of the process of speaking”.
Speaking is one of the most important parts of communication. Whether someone is an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a journalist, or a public relations practitioner, he cannot be successful without knowing how to speak. This means that a good speaker is a good listener too.
Undoubtedly, the primary aim of learning any language is communication. In this respect, speaking makes a major element in the performance of any verbal interaction since the production of words, phrases, and utterance would logically convey meanings, views, and intentions. In particular, speaking, in a foreign language, is deemed to be a central skill that EFL teachers and learners seek to develop.
Above all, speaking as an everyday social activity proves that language users employ their speech abilities in almost all the occasions to establish communications. Speaking is so much a part of daily life that we take it for granted. The average person produces tens of thousands of words a day, although some people- like auctioneers or politicians- may produce even more than that. So natural and integral is speaking that we forget how we once struggled to achieve this ability- until, that is, we have to learn how to do it all over again in a foreign language.
In parallel, speaking in the English language is a vital skill that benefits the speaker in and outside the classroom because of being as a lingua-franca adopted in international affairs.
Furthermore, among the four language skills, speaking has long been cited as the most significant ability EFL learners are supposed to master. In support of this, Ur (1996) and Khamkhien (2010) put forward that speaking is the productive skill that comprises a notable role in learning the language; especially, because it, on the one hand, identifies the learners‟ mistakes while using the language, and, on the other hand, includes all the other skills of knowing that language. In short, speaking, one of the language skills is responsible for the speech production. In this sense, it has been overemphasized as a central ability that promotes the overall success of communication among interlocutors.
There are some studies which have investigated the speaking difficulties encountered by EFL learners. For example, one study investigated Uzbek EFL learners` communication obstacles in English language classrooms. It reported that anxiety and unwillingness during the English speaking process are considered two of the biggest obstacles for EFL learners.
Anxiety and unwillingness are caused by the fear of being negatively evaluated when making mistakes, particularly in front of their friends. This study also revealed that students who perceive their English as „poor‟, feel more anxious and are more unwilling to communicate in English classes than the other students perceiving their English level as „very good‟, „good‟, and „OK‟.
According to Zhang (2009, p. 23; ibid), he argued that speaking remains the most difficult skill to master for the majority of English learners, and they are still incompetent in communicating orally in English. In the same vein, Rababah`s (2005, p 2; ibid) pointed out that there are many factors that cause difficulties in speaking English among EFL learners. Some of these factors are related to the learners themselves, the teaching strategies, the curriculum, or the environment. For instance, many learners lack the necessary vocabulary to get their meaning across; and consequently, they cannot keep the interaction going. Inadequate strategic competence and communication competence can be another reason as well for not being able to keep the interaction going.
According to the opinion of many scientists, there are four main factors that cause difficulty in speaking. Scholars worked on the difficulties especially Central Asian counties and they are summarized in the following points.( Ur (1996) (as cited in Farahnaz et al., 2013, p. 316)
This problem happens when learners try to participate in the classroom tasks. Unlike reading, writing or listening activities, speaking requires some degree of real-time exposure to an audience. Learners are often inhibited about trying to say things in foreign language in the classroom, they worried about mistakes or simply shy of the attention that their speech attracts”.
Asking the students to express themselves in front of the whole class is a common behavior of teachers in teaching speaking. However, they must know that this can result in the experience of stress for the students while they are doing speaking activities. All these factors can stop students from speaking confidently in front of their classmates. Therefore, in my opinion the teacher must be alert to recognize them in the classroom.
Nothing to Say
These sentences and phrases are very common among the Uzbek pupils, collage and lyceum students, even Foreign Language Leaner students. They are the followings : „I have nothing to talk about‟, „I don’t know‟, „no comment‟, or „I have no idea‟ are the most conventional expressions which every EFL teacher surely hears in his/ her English classes from time to time. Besides inhibition, language learners grumble that they cannot think of anything to say. This is due to the lack of motivation in expressing themselves. The teacher may have introduced a topic which the learners find uninteresting or about which he knows very little, and as a result they have nothing to express, whether in the native language or the foreign language.” Thus, students could not carry out the discussion on topics that are not interesting for them.
Furthermore, students must have the desire to communicate something to others. If a student does not have a positive relationship with his teacher, or feel at ease with his classmates; hence, he may feel that what he would like to say can be of little interest to them. Some students sometimes feel that if they express themselves in the new language, they are laying themselves open to censure or ridicule. So, they may prefer to remain silent.
Today, technology has become an essential part of our life and a vital component of how we should teach. It provides so many options as making teaching interesting and more productive in terms of improvements. This article was about the use of technology in teaching EFL and how it was applied in oral expression class. As it can be used so numerous times with new materials such as: computers, internet, the overhead projector and alive language laboratory to stimulate students and bring the language.